As the summer season draws upon us, it’s time to take an in-depth look at what’s just around the corner. There are 26 shows to choose from, marking a significant increase from the 16 offered last summer. Brain’s Base is making a splash this season with three productions, all of which show a lot of promise. Sunrise is back with another original series, leading the way in the fantasy department. BONES and Production I.G are going the sci-fi and heartfelt drama route with their noitaminA shows, plus the latter is providing an original vampire series of its own. GAINAX also makes a rare appearance, providing the standout mystery series of the bunch, though J.C. Staff may have something to say about that with its own adaptation. It’s a bustling summer season with a lot of high school romantic comedies to round it out, which is great for getting back into the blogging swing of things.

Continuing with the format introduced in the last preview, each entry is now divided into two paragraphs as follows:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • My impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific aspects that interest me.

Once again, the overall impressions at the very end categorize the shows in a way that should help you decide what to watch.

 

Disclaimer: Regular readers of the site probably already know that my tastes are fairly diverse, but a quick look at MyAnimeList should give everyone else an idea of my seventeen or so years of history with anime. With that in mind, please be aware that I’ll often watch mediocre and even controversial series for the sake of variety, or simply so that I can make an informed judgement at the end. However, I would only recommend such shows if you’ve seen something similar, enjoyed it to a certain degree, and know what you’re getting yourself into. I still have my usual genres, so it’s usually not too difficult for me to decide what to watch based on premise, art style, production, and cast (a big one for me) after going through some source and/or promotional material. For the purpose of this preview, I’ll try to identify what appeals to me about each series, in hopes that it will help you determine if it coincides with your own tastes.

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to be aired, though it’s meant to be as comprehensive as possible. Shows that stray far from the anime norm or are deemed oriented towards younger children are omitted, so check out MOON PHASE for an entire listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air times, and Fansub Wiki’s page for who’s tentatively subbing what.

 


TV Series


 

Technical Note: The list is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
17:30 MX (7/3)
Natsume Yuujin-chou San
25:30 TX (7/4)
Kami-sama Dolls
25:30 TX (7/5)
Nyanpire The Animation
22:54 Kids Station (7/6)
Usagi Drop
24:45 CX (7/7)
BLADE
22:00 ANIMAX (7/1)
Nekogami Yaoyorozu
08:30 AT-X (7/9)
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
24:30 CTC (7/3)
Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel
25:45 tvk (7/4)
Double-J
25:29 NTV (6/28)
NO.6
25:15 CX (7/7)
Ro-Kyu-Bu!
23:00 AT-X (7/1)
Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
24:00 MX (7/2)
Manyuu Hikenchou
25:00 tvk (7/10)
Yuruyuri
26:00 TX (7/4)
Morita-san wa Mukuchi.
25:30 KBS (7/5)
THE IDOLM@STER
25:25 TBS (7/7)
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
25:05 TVS (7/8)
R-15
25:00 tvk (7/9)
BLOOD-C
25:40 MBS (7/7)
Dantalian no Shoka
25:23 TX (7/15)
Sacred Seven
26:28 MBS (7/2)
Mayo Chiki!
25:55 TBS (7/7)
Kami-sama no Memo-chou
25:30 MX (7/8) *
Mawaru Penguindrum
26:10 MBS (7/7)
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
26:15 TX (7/7)
Double-J | だぶるじぇい Top
http://www.ntv.co.jp/yuruani/
Animation: DLE Premiere: June 28, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:29
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The Yuruani (“loose anime”) comedy programming block is continuing on with a Flash-based adaptation of Nonaka Eiji (Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou) and Asakura Maru’s (090 ~Eiko to Issho~) popular gag manga, Double-J. The humor follows the everyday lives of four high school girls, and picks up when Usami Hajime (Oohashi Ayumu) and her friend Arima Sayo (Katou Emiri) enter Nagashima High. Joining a club is mandatory, so the two of them look around for the “Go Home Club”, i.e. no club, and stumble upon the “Traditional Arts & Crafts Preservation Club”. Confused, they decide to take a peek and meet vice president Chousokabe Aya (Satou Kanami), who specializes in writing omikuji, and Sassa Maria, a.k.a. Tsumayouji-san (Omigawa Chiaki), who makes toothpicks. It turns out all the club members are carrying on their families’ trade skills, some of which are pointless in modern day like in Maria’s case. Bewildered by their seriousness, Hajime decides to join and takes Sayo with her, much to the latter’s dismay.

In execution, Hajime acts as our doorway into this unusual club as she tries to take part, whereas Sayo just speaks her mind about how overly serious they are about their work. An odd premise no doubt, yet it works well in providing a lot of quirky scenarios and some limelight to forgotten arts. Other characters include club president/artist Toba Ichirou (Hayama Nobuyuki), rain gutter maker Houjou Ema (Taketatsu Ayana), fortune teller Sanada Shizuma (Hirohashi Ryou), plus members of the manga research and manzai research clubs. Compared to Morita-san, I did find Double-J’s manga a lot funnier. I’m still not expecting too much given its short five-minute format, but judging from the odd Yuruani episode that I caught last season, the Flash animation is more than adequate for this type of show. If you enjoyed “Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei”, then this is probably worth checking out. I’m leaning towards taking a peek as well.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
BLADE | ブレイド Top
http://www.animax.co.jp/marvelanime/blade/
Animation: Madhouse x Marvel Premiere: July 1, 2011
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The last of four Madhouse x Marvel collaboration projects comes in the form of Blade — the story of a superhero vampire hunter who acquired his own vampiric abilities when his mother was bitten just prior to his birth. Known as the “Daywalker”, the vampire/human hybrid Blade (Ootsuka Akio) is seeking revenge on the four-fanged vampire Deacon Frost (Isobe Tsutomu) for killing his mother, which leads him to Japan where he encounters a father/daughter vampire hunter duo. He’s forced to kill the father when the latter is bitten, leaving him at odds with the daughter Makoto (Sakamoto Maaya). However, they eventually see eye-to-eye and work together against Frost’s “Existence” organization, comprised of genetically modified vampires.

Blade is assisted by his long-time friend Noah Van Helsing (Saka Osamu), a descendant of a line of vampire hunters who helps suppress his bloodsucking urges and provides him with advanced weaponry. This adaptation will see Blade all across Asia, from the Philippines and Indonesia to Vietnam and Cambodia. X-Men has been surprisingly enjoyable (more so than Wolverine), but my familiarity with Blade is only from the Hollywood movies starring Wesley Snipes. For that reason, I’m not too keen on following this adaptation, even though I like the vampire aspect and can see it leading to a lot of gritty action. The prospect of hearing Akio (Snake in Metal Gear Solid) in the lead role alongside Maaya is a big plus, so I’ll be checking out at least the first few episodes.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show BLADE Promotional Videos ▼

Ro-Kyu-Bu! | ロウきゅーぶ! Top
http://www.ro-kyu-bu.com/
Animation: project No.9 x Studio Blanc Premiere: July 1, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

From two relatively unknown studios comes a light novel (later turned manga) adaptation about Hasegawa Subaru (Kaji Yuuki), a talented basketball player who gets scouted for Nanashiba High, only to find out that club activities are suspended for a year due to suspicions of the club leader being a lolicon after he ran away with an underage girl. Upon hearing this, his aunt Takamura Mihoshi (Itou Shizuka) invites him to coach the girls basketball team at her elementary school. Dejected, Subaru refuses at first, but is vehemently convinced to give it a try for a week. On his first day, he’s greeted by five girls in maid outfits as per Mihoshi’s plan to make him stay. He later learns of their situation and is captivated by the abilities of the only experienced member, Minato Tomoka (Hanazawa Kana), and decides to coach them seriously.

Rounding out the cast are Misawa Maho (Iguchi Yuka), Nagatsuka Saki (Hikasa Youko), Hakamada Hinata (Ogura Yui), and Kashii Airi (Hidaka Rina), whose seiyuu are featured in the drama-like promo videos with Kana. I’ll be quick to admit that I’d be willing to watch a live-action version starring them, given that the character designs in this anime don’t look quite as nice as its manga counterpart. The female cast is undoubtedly the biggest appeal, though I did find the manga a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It’s a mix of cute and comedy, with the basketball premise to tie it all together. I’m not expecting much, but like Softenni last season, a sports-themed series can be pretty entertaining in its own way. For Ro-Kyu-Bu, it’s cast first, comedy second, sports third.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Ro-Kyu-Bu Promotional Videos ▼

Kami-sama no Memo-chou | 神様のメモ帳 Top
http://www.kamimemo.com/
Animation: J.C. Staff Early Premiere: July 2, 2011 at 23:00 on AT-X
Regular Premiere: July 8, 2011
Genre: Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

This is another light novel, turned manga, turned anime, centering on self-proclaimed NEET detective, Alice (Ogura Yui), whom 16-year-old transfer student Fujishima Narumi (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) is introduced to by his classmate Shinozaki Ayaka (Kayano Ai). Alice is a doll-like, super shut-in, and lives in an apartment above the ramen shop that Ayaka works at. Narumi winds up becoming her assistant (read: servant) to solve cases around the city, which she mostly does on her computer without ever leaving her room. They’re aided by fellow NEETs: ex-high school boxer/gambling addict Tetsu (Matsukaze Masaya), military fanatic “Shousa” (Miyata Kouki), smooth-talking gigolo Hiro (Sakurai Takahiro), and Hirasawa delinquent group leader “Yondaime” (Ono Daisuke).

There are a lot quirky character interactions, but what’s interesting is how the story touches upon a lot of underground activity in urban society (e.g. organized crime, drugs), similar to how Durarara did. The cast has been completely overturned from the drama CD in favor of newer seiyuu, which I don’t particularly mind; however, the early parts of the manga didn’t really grab my interest, and J.C. Staff’s direction doesn’t exactly instill confidence, despite how good their work is on the surface. I’m cautiously optimistic because Sakurabi Katsushi served as the assistant director of Shigofumi, and because Alice and Narumi remind me of Victorique and Kazuya from GOSICK. I’ll be watching with reserved expectations and welcoming any pleasant surprises.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Kami-sama no Memo-chou Promotional Videos ▼

Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000% | うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ マジLOVE1000% Top
http://utapri.tv/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 2, 2011
Genre: Music, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The “Prince of Song” is based on a PSP idol romance game, and is essentially a reverse harem, romantic comedy with aspiring composer Nanami Haruka (Sawashiro Miyuki) at the center. In pursuit of her dream, Haruka enters a prestigious school for the entertainment business, Saotome Academy, where she has to partner up with one of six aspiring male idols with the goal of passing the Shining Office “newcomer discovery” audition held at graduation. Her candidates are Ittoki Otoya (Terashima Takuma), Hijirikawa Masato (Suzumura Kenichi), Shinomiya Natsuki (Taniyama Kishou), Ichinose Tokiya (Miyano Mamoru), Jinguuji Ren (Suwabe Junichi), and Kurusu Shou (Shimono Hiro).

I can’t vouch for the romance aspect since these adaptations have a tendency for the heroine to grow closer to the guys and never definitively pick one, but something probably could be said about Nakamura Yuuichi playing a 23-year-old cross-dressing idol named Tsukimiya Ringo. (See PV image.) We also have Wakamoto Norio as the principal/former super idol, Shining Saotome. In addition to the main plot, there’s a lot going on with industry idols visiting the school as guest speakers, so it already looks more interesting than Starry Sky. I’ll probably check out an episode or two to hear Miyuki in a leading romance role, but the appeal of that alone won’t keep me watching. It looks like a decent offering for those looking for a reverse harem to watch though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000% Promotional Videos ▼

Sacred Seven | セイクリッドセブン Top
http://www.sacred7.jp/
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: July 2, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:28
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Sunrise is back in the swing of things with their original series, and this latest one finds Tandouji Alma (Terashima Takuma) in a Kantou port city, where he meets a mysterious transfer student named Aiba Ruri (Nakajima Megumi) asking for his help. Alma is known as a “Yoshi”, one who possesses the Sacred Seven power, but he declines because he’s become an outcast after losing control of his power in the past. Before long, rock demons known as “Ashi” appear and wreak havoc, so Ruri entrusts Alma with a jewel imbued with her will to help him realize his true power to defeat them. It turns out that Ruri is the wealthy daughter of the Aibi Foundation, and is establishing an anti-Ashi organization because of a past incident. She’s supported by her butler Kagami Makoto (Irino Miyu) and a Maid Unit that he commands.

In essence, it’s a battle of good and evil, between those who can control the power of the stones and those who are controlled by them. There are various other Ashi/Yoshi, voiced by the notable cast of Okamoto Nobuhiko, Ookawa Tooru, and Nomizu Iori. Itou Kanae also has a role as one of Alma’s classmates and Konishi Katsuyuki as a researcher who’s studying the powers of “Sacred Takers”. When it comes to Sunrise’s original series, I’m generally quick to get on board regardless of the premise. TIGER & BUNNY has been quite a gem thus far, so it’s even easier to give them the benefit of the doubt and simply look forward to where they take us. Aside from Gundam, action fantasies are one of the studio’s fortes after all. Opening/ending themes by FictionJunction and Nanri Yuuka respectively make it all the better.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
Show Sacred Seven Promotional Videos ▼

Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou | ぬらりひょんの孫 千年魔京 Top
http://www.nuramago.jp/
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 3, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:30
Episodes: 2-cour Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

This time last year saw the first adaptation of the award-winning shounen series, “Nurarihyon’s Grandchild”, and this summer sees its continuation, subtitled “Millennium-Old Demon Capital”. Quarter-youkai Nura Rikuo (Fukuyama Jun) has accepted his destiny as the third leader of all youkai, despite all the negative connotations associated with them. He still maintains his human form during the day and switches to his adult youkai form at night, which he uses to fend off other youkai factions that are after his title. In all likelihood, this sequel will animate the arcs that introduce Rikuo’s late father, Nura Rihan (Fujiwara Keiji), and involve the pursuit of his killer, the demon fox Hagoromo Gitsune (Noto Mamiko), that leads Rikuo to the old capital Kyoto.

The large cast of characters return, which includes the likes of Yuki-Onna (Horie Yui), Karasu Tengu (Majima Junji), Kubinashi (Sakurai Takahiro), Ienaga Kana (Hirano Aya), as the battle between youkai using their “fear” abilities is taken to the next level. In terms of new characters, Rikuo’s grandmother Youhime (Kuwashima Houko) should be making an appearance as well. I never did get past the first few episodes of season one, simply because I wasn’t looking for a long-running shounen series to follow at the time, and I really have no intention of getting into it now. Regardless, fans of the series should be happy about seeing Studio DEEN back with another season after a year-long break. The director and screen writer have changed for this sequel, but that shouldn’t affect much in such an established manga series.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou Promotional Videos ▼

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation | 異国迷路のクロワーゼ The Animation Top
http://ikokumeiro.com/
Animation: Satelight Premiere: July 3, 2011
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Chiba TV (CTC)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

We don’t see Satelight studio leading the production of too many shows, but they’re back with this adaptation of female mangaka Takeda Hinata’s lovely slice-of-life series. Set in 19th century Paris, “Crossing of a Foreign Labyrinth” follows a young girl named Yune (Touyama Nao), who leaves Japan to learn about the world. She’s brought to an old shopping district known as Galerie du Roy by a French merchant named Oscar Claudel (Tanaka Hideyuki), where she helps out at an ironworks shop, Enseignes du Roy, run by his grandson Claude (Kondou Takashi). Claude doesn’t like the idea of having to look after Yune, who’s still learning the French language, but is constantly bewildered by her Japanese customs and is slowly won over by her earnest desire to be helpful. Things flip over to a lighthearted air when the wealthy Japanese culture fanatic Alice Blanche (Yuuki Aoi) learns of Yune from his sister Camille (Yahagi Sayuri).

The manga depicts a very cute and heartwarming story revolving around the culture clash between Yune and Claude, which has a very innocent charm to it like the ARIA series. Instead of the waterways of a futuristic Venice, Italy, we have the shopping corridors of Paris, France. ARIA director Satou Junichi is actually in charge of the screenplay, further reiterating their similarities. Yune is a token Yamato Nadeshiko, and won me over almost instantly with her self-sacrificing level of respect. The character designs are reminiscent of GOSICK, since Hinata did the illustrations for the novels. Yuuki Aoi probably would’ve been perfect for the lead role because of that connection, but newcomer Nao (Kanon in Kami nomi) provides a refreshing spin. Most fans will probably lose interest in a slow-paced series like this, but I’m really looking forward to it because of the ARIA vibe and how it makes you appreciate the small things in life.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation Promotional Videos ▼

Natsume Yuujin-chou San | 夏目友人帳 参 Top
http://www.nasinc.co.jp/jp/natsume-anime/
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Drama, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Natsume Takashi (Kamiya Hiroshi) and his “Book of Friends” is back for a third season, brought to us by the same staff at Brain’s Base (except for the screen writer). Takashi’s had a very lonely childhood because of his ability to see spirits, but later learns that his grandmother Reiko (Kobayashi Sanae) also had this ability. After inheriting her notebook — which contains the names of all the youkai she half-heartedly put under her servitude — Takashi decides to release youkai from their contracts while fending off the ones who are after it. He’s aided by a mischievous spirit named Madara, a.k.a. Nyanko-sensei (Inoue Kazuhiko), who’s after the book himself yet agrees to protect him for the time being. In this third iteration, Takashi continues his journey of annulling contracts with youkai that wish to have their names returned, as he encounters more spirits and learns of Reiko’s teenage years when she beat them into submission.

For whatever reason, I never did get into the first two seasons when they aired, and only recently began watching them as a completed series to watch on the side. In a lot of ways, the premise is very reminiscent of Mokke which I did finish (and Mushishi I’ve been told), and progresses in a fairly episodic manner with its self-contained and often touching mini stories. The somewhat slower, laidback pacing is intended to appeal to female audiences (i.e. more patient viewers), who can appreciate the finer things in a series, such as the theme of loneliness that becomes fairly prominent. The manga is very popular and well-received in Japan, which is why I’ve been slowly getting through the first two seasons when I can. There’s an almost inexplicable charm to this type of show, given how different it is from the more mainstream anime. I definitely intend to watch this continuation when I catch up.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Natsume Yuujin-chou San Promotional Videos ▼

Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!~ Top
快盗天使ツインエンジェル ~キュンキュン☆ときめきパラダイス!!~
http://twin-angel.tv/
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Action, Magical Girl Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:45
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Judging from Rio -RainbowGate- and Sengoku Otome in the past two seasons, there seems to be a trend in adapting pachinko characters. In the case of Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel, Sammy’s 2006 game was marketed with Tamura Yukari as Minazuki Haruka (Red Angel) and Noto Mamiko as Kannazuki Aoi (Blue Angel) as its moe selling point, and already spawned a sequel introducing new characters, a manga, an OVA, a radio show, a card game, and multiple video games. Haruka and Aoi are students of St. Cherrine Academy, and under the guise of their Angel alter-egos, defend rare treasures from being stolen by a secret organization called Black Auction. In execution, things play out very similar to a magical girl series — right down to their senior Kisaragi Yuito (Hiyama Nobuyuki), who helps them as Misty Knight and throws white roses like Tuxedo Mask.

Differentiating itself from the 2008 OVA, the TV series will feature a new White Angel member, Hazuki Kurumi (Kugimiya Rie), Twin Phantom rivals, twin sisters Tesla Violet (Horie Yui) and Nine Violet (Yuzuki Ryouka), and mercenary soldier Salome (Shintani Ryouko). There’s also a complete studio and staff turnover, with J.C. Staff taking over for Nomad, plus director Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Love Hina, Hayate s2, Ookami-san, Zero no Tsukaima s1) helming the project. All in all, these are positive changes; however, this still isn’t a series I can see myself getting into if the OVA was any indication. I watched a lot of Sailor Moon back in the day when I was starved for anime, so I could enjoy some aspects with the cast involved, but I’m now in a situation where I have more anime than I can watch. If the prospect of hearing Yukarin in another magical girl role interests you, a la Lyrical Nanoha, then this may be worth checking out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel Promotional Videos ▼

Yuruyuri | ゆるゆり Top
http://yuruyuri.com/
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

If you’re looking for a yuri comedy, then look no further than Yuruyuri, a show revolving around a trio of middle school girls, Akaza Akari (Mikami Shiori), Toshinou Kyouko (Ootsubo Yuka), and Funami Yui (Tsuda Minami), and the unofficial “Fun Club” they run in the ex-tea ceremony clubroom. Yoshikawa Chinatsu (Ookubo Rumi) is quickly coerced into joining by Kyouko, simply because she resembles the magical witch anime character Mirakurun (Taketatsu Ayana). The student council also gets caught up in their carefree mix, which includes vice president Suigura Ayano (Fujita Saki), Ikeda Chitose (Toyosaki Aki), plus heated childhood rivals, Oomura Sakurako (Katou Emiri) and Furutani Himawari (Mimori Suzuko). There’s only a “light touch” of yuri humor throughout, mostly from Kyouko and Chitose, but the manga was voted number one by a significant margin in a survey held by Yuri Hime S, the magazine that it’s serialized in.

I didn’t think much of this anime originally, largely due to Dogakobo’s involvement and the green cast of seiyuu, but found it to be a fun slice-of-life comedy with a slight yuri twist after flipping through some chapters of the manga. The contrasting personalities lead to a lot of quirky humor, from the surprisingly book smart yet “lesbian stupid” Kyouko to the quiet and sensible Yui. A closer look revealed that there’s a much more experienced support cast portraying the student council members, and that the director and screen writer of Minami-ke s1 and Mitsudomoe s1/s2, Oota Masahiko and Aoshima Takashi, have been tasked with bringing this comedy to life. I really like the anime’s character designs as well, so this has gone from being a show I wasn’t planning to watch to one that I’m really looking forward to for some lighthearted, Minami-ke-like laughs.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Yuruyuri Promotional Videos ▼

Kami-sama Dolls | 神様ドォルズ Top
http://www.kamisama-anime.jp/
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 5, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

“Girl Meets God” is the tagline for this manga adaptation, which begins with Kuga Kyouhei (Okamoto Nobuhiko) leaving his small village to attend a university in Tokyo. After a group dating event with a fellow student/daughter of his father’s friend, Shiba Hibino (Kayano Ai), whom he wants to confess to, they come across a massacred corpse. Not long after, Kyouhei’s younger sister Utao (Fukuen Misato) comes looking for him, telling him that Kuga Aki (Kimura Ryouhei) has escaped imprisonment after learning that Kyouhei had left, and that he’s responsible for the murder. Utao and Aki are “Seki”, manipulators of their village’s secret Kakashi — mysterious dolls that are believed to be the empty shells of god. Aki was once a good friend of Kyouhei’s, but now believes he possesses a powerful dark power of the Kuga family and intentionally provokes him to try and awaken what he believes is his true nature.

Other Seki come into the picture, including Kirio (Kobayashi Yumiko), a young boy who looks just like Utao, Hyuuga Koushirou (Murase Katsuki), a village member sent to capture Aki, and Hyuuga Mahiru (Hanazawa Kana), a girl who’s come looking for Kyouhei. There’s also Hibino’s university science friend, Karahari Kuuko (Sawashiro Miyuki), who starts looking into things when she’s saved by Utao’s Kakashi, “Kukuri”. The early parts of the manga were surprisingly graphic and showed a lot of potential, as Kyouhei was Kukuri’s original Seki before he relinquished it because of an incident. Aki acts as the catalyst to drive the story, forcing Kyouhei to relive his past. It was really easy to get absorbed in the plot, so this is the series that I’m looking forward to the most this season. With Brain’s Base in charge of the animation and Kishi Seiji directing (Angel Beats, Seto no Hanayome), I can’t help but get a little excited about it.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
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Morita-san wa Mukuchi. | 森田さんは無口。 Top
http://www.takeshobo.co.jp/sp/tv_moritasan/
Animation: Seven Premiere: July 5, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 (5 mins each) Station: Kyoto Broadcasting (KBS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Both simplistic in premise and artwork, this adaptation of the four-panel manga “Morita is Silent” rests all of its humor on the misunderstandings of high school student Morita Mayu (Hanazawa Kana), who is overly considerate of what she says, to the point that she ends up saying nothing at all. Her behavior is the result of her mother Yumi (Nanase Ami), who emphasizes thinking before speaking, which she often demonstrates with some choice words for Mayu’s father when he’s suspected of cheating on her. Most of the comedy is initiated by Mayu’s childhood friend Murakoshi Miki (Tomatsu Haruka), fashion fanatic Miura Chihiro (Hayami Saori), curly-haired Matsuzaka Hana (Nanjou Yoshino), class rep Yamamoto Ritsuki (Hiraga Mie), and “the glasses girl” (Satou Amina), while Mayu provides us with her thoughts in the form of inner dialogue. An OVA was released earlier this year by studio gram, and features the same director and cast.

The character designs have changed under Seven studio’s wing, making the characters stand out a lot more, but the content will likely be fairly similar, seeing as the OVA animated pages right out of the manga. I didn’t find the manga nor OVA overly funny and can’t really see the TV series changing that impression, as the misunderstandings surrounding Mayu are similar to Sawako’s in Kimi ni Todoke, minus all the emotional angst. While I’m all for the humor that comes with misunderstandings (see Mitsudomoe), the material just didn’t click for me. I do like the cast that’s involved though, so I’m going to check out a couple of episodes to see if Seven puts a more amusing twist on things. At only five minutes long each, it’s not much of a commitment.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Nyanpire The Animation | にゃんぱいあ The Animation Top
http://www.nyanpire.jp/
Animation: GONZO Premiere: July 6, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:54
Episodes: Station: Kids Station
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Vampire cats, samurai cats, fallen angel cats, and foul-mouthed cats. Not exactly the cutest creatures in the world, unless you happen to have the same tastes as doujinshi creators yukiusa and GLAD. Yes, a doujinshi is getting an adaptation this season, which promises to be a “heartfelt comical story” about a cat named Nyanpire (Koshimizu Ami), who has the blood of a vampire surging through his veins, granting him fangs, wings, and most of all immortality. He’s befriended by Dokuganryuu Masamunya (Sugiyama Noriaki), a worshipper of the One-Eyed Dragon Date Masamune who normally vanquishes spirits, yet falls for Nyanpire thinking that he’s a girl, leading to a little cat BL. Others include the fallen cat angel Nyatenshi (Fukuyama Jun), who wants revenge on the gods for ousting him from heaven, the foul-mouthed Chachamaru (Gotou Yuuko), and vampire bats Mouri-kun and Komori-kun (actress/idol Maeda Nozomi).

It probably goes without saying that this isn’t the way I envisioned GONZO would try and make a splash comeback, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgement until later. Evidently, Nyanpire is popular enough to warrant an anime, which features a pretty notable cast who have all starred in CODE GEASS, plus an actress/idol to boot, so there’s always the possibility that this will turn out a lot better than it appears. Better is relative of course, as this adaptation has a pretty specific target audience, airing only on Kids Station, so that’s about the extent I plan to look into this fantasy comedy.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Usagi Drop | うさぎドロップ Top
http://www.usagi-drop.tv/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The first of two new noitaminA shows is an adaptation of Unita Yumi’s manga for young girls, “Bunny Drop”. The premise is somewhat unusual, and starts off with 30-year-old salaryman Kawachi Daikichi (Tsuchida Hiroshi) attending his grandfather’s funeral, only to find out that he left behind a six-year-old illegitimate daughter named Kaga Rin (voiced by 9-year-old Matsuura Ayu), much to the disbelief of him and the rest of the family. Rin’s feelings about losing her father are quickly ignored, as Daikichi’s relatives perceive her as an embarrassment and argue over who’s going to have to take her in. Repulsed by their attitude, Daikichi decides to raise Rin himself, and she takes an almost immediate liking to him since he looks just like his late grandfather. Thus begins the heartwarming story about a 30-year-old nephew raising his 6-year-old aunt.

As odd as that sounds, the series revolves around the hardships of being a single parent, and the sacrifices that have to be made for a child’s sake. This includes Daikichi frantically trying to find a daycare for Rin, and taking a demotion at his job so he can get off early enough to pick her up. It doesn’t seem worth it at first, but Daikichi soon learns otherwise, as Rin is a very good girl who’s very mature for her age. Prominent characters include his coworker/single mother Nitani (Oohara Sayaka) and her son Kouki (Sakai Noa). There’s also a ten-year time lapse halfway through, picking up when Rin is in high school. The eight-volume manga completed its five-and-a-half-year run this past May, with a live-action movie slated to premiere in August, so there’s a good chance that Production I.G will deliver a faithful adaptation, even though they’re limited to one cour. In any case, I found Rin absolutely adorable in the manga, so I’ll definitely be watching.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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NO.6 Top
http://www.no-6.jp/
Animation: BONES Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:15
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The second new noitaminA show is an adaptation of the light novel variety, set in the year 2013, where Shion (Kaji Yuuki) is living in the futuristic utopia NO.6’s most prestigious section, Chronos, because a medical test at the age of two deemed that he possesses high intellect and aptitude. He’s grown up learning fundamentals until the age of ten and specialized in ecology since then, and everything in his life was looking up. That all changed on his twelfth birthday, when he sheltered an injured corrections facility escapee named Nezumi (Hasoya Yoshimasa) and was later discovered, resulting in his exile to the slums of NO.6, Lost Town. Four years later, he’s suspected of a murder he didn’t commit and sentenced to the corrections facility, but saved by Nezumi. Shion later learns of NO.6’s true nature, and the Mao Massacre that Nezumi and his highly intelligent forest people were victims of.

Much like Usagi Drop, NO.6’s sci-fi light novels recently concluded its eight-year run with its ninth volume this past month, so there’s potential for a very faithful adaptation. Hopefully they’ll be able to pull it off with the limited number of episodes, as the figments of story that I’ve come across have me pretty keen on seeing how it all plays out. Shion and Nezumi’s journey takes them all around NO.6, including the West Block on its outskirts where the corrections facility is located, so it has the futuristic immersive effect going for it too. Combined with the sci-fi/conspiracy aspect, and backed by amazing production values care of BONES, this is already shaping out to be the second series that I’m looking forward to the most.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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THE IDOLM@STER | アイトルマスター Top
http://www.idolmaster-anime.jp/
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Idols, Music Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: 25 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Unlike Sunrise’s 2007 spin-off Xenoglossia that was set in an alternate reality, this second IDOLM@STER series is a more faithful rendition, based on Xbox 360’s THE IDOLM@STER 2 released in February of this year. In the simulation game, you play as an idol producer of 765 Production and help guide a selection of thirteen pop idols to success. The anime features the same thirteen girls from the game along with their respective seiyuus: Amami Haruka (Nakamura Eriko), Hoshii Miki (Hasegawa Akiko), Kisaragi Chihaya (Imai Asami), Takatsuki Yayoi (Nigo Mayako), Hagiwara Yukiho (Asakura Azumi), Kikuchi Makoto (Hirata Hiromi), Futami Ami/Mami (Shimoda Asami), Minase Iori (Kugimiya Rie), Miura Azusa (Takahashi Chiaki), Shijou Takane (Hara Yumi), Ganaha Hibiki (Numakura Manami), and Akizuki Ritsuko (Wakabayashi Naomi).

There really isn’t anything else that A-1 Pictures’ adaptation is promoted as, and little probably needs to be done, given how the first game single-handedly re-sparked Xbox 360 sales in Japan due to its exclusivity. From an anime standpoint, between watching a bunch of teenage girls strive for stardom and watching the same group of girls pilot giant robots to defend the Earth from falling meteors, the latter is admittedly more appealing in my eyes and still wasn’t even enough to get me through all of Xenoglossia. I really can’t see myself getting into this series in its intended form, but I do want to check out the first episode to see what approach it takes.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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BLOOD-C | ブラッドシー Top
http://www.blood-c.jp/
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:40
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Another original anime comes in the form of Blood, a series that began with the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Blood: The Last Vampire, and spawned the 2005 TV series BLOOD+ and 2009 live-action film Last Blood. In this latest iteration, the concept remains the same. Kisaragi Saya (Mizuki Nana), a second-year high school student at Sanbara Academy, whose Shinto priest father, Kisaragi Tadayoshi (Fujiwara Keiji), tasks her with the duty of defeating “Furukimono”, ancient demons that prey on humans, and entrusts her with the “Goshintou” katana that has been passed down by the Ukishima shrine. Caught in the struggle are Tadayoshi’s close friend Nanahara Fumito (Nojima Kenji), Saya’s classmates, Amino Yuuka (Asano Masumi), Motoe Nono/Nene (Fukuen Misato), Tokizane Shinichirou (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), class president Tomofusa Itsuki (Abe Atsushi), and their sexy homeroom teacher Tsutsutori Kanako (Miyagawa Miho).

Most notable is female mangaka group CLAMP’s involvement, creating both the character designs and writing the story for it (Ookawa Nanase in particular for the latter). Their past works include Chobits, Tsubasa, and xxxHOLiC, the last of which both Production I.G and director Mizushima Tsutomu had a hand in, making BLOOD-C a reunion of sorts for the parties involved. In fact, the title came from combining BLOOD x CLAMP to commemorate the occasion. Admittedly, I never did get through all fifty episodes of BLOOD+ and left it on the back burner for some time now, so I’m taking a more reserved approach towards BLOOD-C. On paper, it has all the components to turn out as a great original series, including Nana in the leading role, so I’m just hoping that it’ll live up to its potential.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Mayo Chiki! | まよチキ! Top
http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/mayochiki/
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

When it comes to animation by feel, that’s often clear indication the series will tread into risqué territory. Sure enough, Mayo Chiki heads in that direction, depicting a romantic comedy where Sakamachi Kinjirou (Hino Satoshi) suffers from gynophobia (a fear of girls), and gets uncontrollable convulsions, nosebleeds, and fainting when he comes into contact with the opposite sex. It’s a condition caused by his mother’s Spartan-like upbringing and comes with a hardened body from being used as a punching bag for both her and his younger sister Kureha (Hanazawa Kana). One day, he accidentally discovers that Konoe Subaru (Iguchi Yuka), the butler of the school chairman’s daughter, Suzutsuki Kanade (Kitamura Eri), is actually a girl. Subaru attempts to beat Kinjirou until he forgets, due to a stipulation by Kanade’s father to see if she’s fit to serve the Suzutsuki family, but Kanade, being the closet sadist she is, threatens Kinjirou into keeping Subaru’s secret in exchange for helping him overcome his gynophobia.

Kinjirou’s situation becomes more complicated when martial arts-loving Kureha falls in love with Subaru after learning how strong “he” is. In the manga, that leads to some humorous lesbian misunderstandings, which contrasts nicely with Subaru’s actual cute and girly self. Having kept her secret from everybody, she’s really lonely and just wants some to talk to, so Kanade constantly orders her to do “things” with Kinjirou for her personal enjoyment. Staff-wise, director Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate s1, Nyan Koi) has me somewhat optimistic, as does female screen writer Yoshida Reiko (K-ON). The premise itself is a cross between Maria Holic and MM, and works pretty well for some lighthearted fun. The character designs and cast are big pluses, which includes classmates Usami Masamune (Ise Mariya) and Narumi Nakuru (Asumi Kana). Yuka also uses a rarely heard, deeper voice as Subaru, giving me more reason to watch this.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Mawaru Penguindrum | 輪るピングドラム Top
http://penguindrum.jp/
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:10
Episodes: 24 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Brain’s Base is a on a tear with three series in production, and this 24-episode original series by director/writer Ikuhara Kunihiko (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Sailor Moon), featuring character designs by Hoshino Lily (Otome Youkai Zakuro), may just be the surprise hit of the season. Similar to Madoka Magica, most of the anticipation comes from the staff involved, as the actual content of the anime in question comes a distant second. There’s very little information available on what this series is about, other than descriptions of the main characters — three siblings from the Takakura family. We have the oldest son/pretty boy Kanba (Kimura Subaru), his prince-like twin brother Shouma (Kimura Ryouhei), and their younger sister Himari (Arakawa Miho), whom they love dearly. Himari is hospitalized due to her poor health and is told she doesn’t have long to live.

It sounds like a potentially depressing story, yet mention of a mysterious girl named Oginome Ringo (Miyake Marie) who’s just as important of a heroine as Himari throws things in for a whirl. The first four commercials also talk about bearing sins and fighting fate, adding to the mystery. Then I get to the latest fifth commercial and see a spinning penguin like the title alludes to and really don’t know what to expect anymore. I’m definitely intrigued though, and will make a decision about watching (and blogging) Ikuhara’s secretive project when I get to see what it actually entails. It’s worth keeping an eye on one way or another.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! | バカとテストと召喚獣にっ! Top
http://www.bakatest.com/
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:15
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

It’s been over a year since the second season was green-lit, but we finally have more “Idiots, Tests, and Summoning Beasts”! Our lovable Class F is back, led by the idiotic Yoshii Akihisa (Shimono Hiro), alongside his secret weapon Himeji Mizuki (Harada Hitomi), kanji-deficient Shimada Minami (Mizuhashi Kaori), class rep Sakamoto Yuuji (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), ultimate trap Kinoshita Hideyoshi (Katou Emiri), and pervert ninja Tsuchiya Kouta (Miyata Kouki), as they try to beat the almighty Class A in a digital summoning war and earn the right to take over their luxurious classroom. In Fumizuki Academy’s unique education system, the power of one’s summoned super-deformed self is based on their recent test scores, in an attempt to promote studying by awarding the smartest students with the best facilities. However, the separation between classes knows no bounds, as Class F is stuck with rotting tatami mats and cardboard boxes for desks.

The first season was one of my favorite comedies of 2010 due to its unique premise that just oozes great slapstick humor. There’s a romance element as well, primarily in the form of Himeji and Minami vying for Akihisa’s affection, plus Class A’s Kirishima Shouko (Isomura Tomomi) trying to force Yuuji to marry her. Let’s not forget Hideyoshi, who can cross-dress with the best of them and look just as good as his twin sister Yuuko. The “Festival” OVA was great for tiding things until this second season, providing more of the idiocy that has gotten close to beating Class A on several occasions. Each of the characters’ quirky personalities make the premise work, and we should be in store for more of the same as SILVER LINK is back with the same staff. If you’re looking for a combination of deadpan and slapstick humor, you’d have to be an idiot to pass up on BakaTest. Or was it you have to be stupid to enjoy it? Bah, you get the idea!

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi | いつか天魔の黒ウサギ Top
http://kadokawa-anime.jp/itsu-ten/
Animation: ZEXCS Premiere: July 8, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Saitama (TVS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

After animating Denyuuden last summer, ZEXCS is back with another one of Kagami Takaya’s light novels. “Someday, The Demon’s Black Bunny” centers on Miyasaki High’s Kurogane Taito (Tachibana Shinnosuke) and his long-forgotten promise with a vampire named Saitohimea (Takamoto Megumi). Nine years ago, “Himea” made a pact with Taito out of feelings of love, injecting him with her “poison” (powers) and granting him pseudo-immortality. “Up to 7 deaths in 15 minutes.” Soon after, they’re torn apart by a black magic fanatic, Kurenai Hinata (Fukuyama Jun). Taito’s spared but his memories are erased as per Himea’s desperate plea, and she’s sealed away in an alternate dimension for Hinata to experiment on. Present day, Taito is run over by a truck while saving classmate/lightning demon Andou Mirai (Nomizu Iori), and his death restores both his memories and Himea’s powers that were sealed in him. They’re reunited after nine long years — 78,840 hours — only to find out that Hinata’s been lying in wait for this moment.

Amazingly, that’s only the surface of the story, as student council president and genius Kurenai Gekkou (Nakamura Yuuichi) has a vendetta against his twin brother Hinata for sacrificing their parents nine years ago. He’s prepared himself for the moment that Hinata would return to sacrifice him to the demons next, and enslaves Mirai to help kill Hinata after she was sent to kill him. This leads to an unlikely truce between Taito/Himea and Gekkou/Mirai. Amidst all that, there’s an army harnessing dark powers, a church exorcising demons, alternate dimensions, Hinata trying to resurrect the powerful vampire Ba’alskra (Koyasu Takehito), plus a classmate who has a crush on Taito, Shigure Haruka (Mina). Needless to say, this is definitely one of the more story-filled offerings this season, which skimming through the manga version confirmed. I see a lot of potential with this adaptation, and am hoping screen writer Morita Shigeru (Kore wa Zombie) will be able to make it all work. I could’ve done without ZEXCS’ added fan-service though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Nekogami Yaoyorozu | 猫神やおよろず Top
http://www.mmv.co.jp/special/nekogami/
Animation: AIC PLUS+ Premiere: July 9, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 08:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Local gods haven’t been forgotten in modern day, 21st century, at least not in this “neighborhood deity comedy” starring a female cat god named Mayu (Tomatsu Haruka), who specializes in recovering lost items and memories. In reality, she just ends up freeloading at the home of Komiya Yuzu (Horie Yui), the young owner of the antique store Yaoyorozu, lazing about and playing video games all day. Other local deities join the mix, including another cat deity Shousouin Sasana (Kayano Ai), god of darkness’ granddaughter Meiko (Taketatsu Ayana), god of cherry blossoms Yoshino (MAKO), god of poverty Shamo (Toyosaki Aki), god of harvest Gonta (Sanpei Yuuko), dream eater Makuragi Yurara (Takagaki Ayahi), and god of typhoons Shirasaki Hasumi (Shimoda Asami). There’s also popular mangaka/sorcerer Kamo Yukina (Mizuhashi Kaori) to ensure that there’s never a boring day at Yaoyorozu.

The drama CD cast has been completely swapped out and the replacements are just as good. The cast is definitely one of the biggest appeals, particularly with Tomatsu Haruka busting out the archaic Japanese alongside Horie Yui and performing the opening theme with her. In conjunction with the manga’s comical potential and AIC PLUS+ behind the production, there’s some indication that this will turn out better than it seems. Director Sakurai Hiroaki worked on both Di Gi Charat and Kaichou wa Maid-sama, whereas writer Machida Touko handled the scripts for Lucky Star, so Nekogami should be right up their alley. I really can’t say how funny this is having only skimmed a bit of the manga, but a part of me wants to follow it just to find out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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R-15 Top
http://kadokawa-anime.jp/R-15/
Animation: AIC Premiere: July 9, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Amidst all the high school romantic comedies this season, R-15’s niche comes in the form of a school for gifted students, Hirameki Academy. 15-year-old Akutagawa Taketo (Gouda Aya in her first male role) is accepted into the school, except his talent is something that’s met with strange looks — he’s a professional erotic novelist. Surrounded by a clarinetist, singer, photographer, programmer, mathematician, manager, avant-garde artist, and gymnast — most of whom are girls — Taketo gets caught up in various risqué situations and his imagination runs wild. In reality, it’s the perfect setting, since he dreams of creating a harem one day with his “talent”.

Talk about a messed up premise, which the series isn’t the least bit shy about seeing as it’s advertised as a “messed-up and forbidden school life”. What is interesting is that R-15 didn’t begin with visual fan-service in mind, but as a light novel. A manga followed suit to help with the reader’s imagination and now an anime is going to bring it all to life. To that end, we have a cast of relatively new seiyuu from Production Ace, which specializes on discovering new voice actors/actresses after merging with Kadokawa Production. The only notable ones are Gouda Aya (Q-fueille in Kiddy Girl-and), Nomizu Iori (Nymph in SoraOto), and Tsukimiya Midori (Yuu in Zombie). The most famous cast member is K-1 mixed martial artist and cross-dressing cosplayer, Nagashima “Jienotsu” Yuuichirou, but obviously for a very different reason. I generally look forward to AIC productions, but I can’t say I’m too interested in this one. Director Nawa Munenori and writer Uetake Sumio’s past work on kiss x sis should be helpful here though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Manyuu Hikenchou | 魔乳秘剣帖 Top
http://oppaidaisuki.jp/
Animation: Hoods Entertainment Premiere: July 10, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy, History Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Kanagawa TV (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Try as I might, it’s hard to give Hoods Entertainment’s latest adaptation the same benefit of the doubt as Seikon no Qwaser when the official site is oppaidaisuki.jp. The focus of the story is the size of breasts in a fictional Taihei Edo Period, during which the Tokugawa shogunate imposes a completely irrational regime that uses the size a woman’s breasts to measure her worth in life. Manipulating them behind the shadows is the Manyuu Clan (loosely based on the Yagyuu Clan), who possesses sword techniques which can “cut off” (reduce the size of) breasts and steal them. They also possess a secret scroll on how to cultivate large, beautiful breasts, which the youngest member of their clan and chosen successor of the Manyuu Arts, Chifusa (Kotobuki Minako), runs off with in an attempt to correct the cruel and twisted world that her clan created.

Chifusa is accompanied by her servant Kaede (Toyosaki Aki) but pursued by her jealous older sister/self-proclaimed “breast hunter” Manyuu Kagefusa (Mizuhara Kaoru), Kagefusa’s servant Kokage (Fukuen Misato), and branch family ninja Sayama Ouka (Noto Mamiko). Leading the Manyuu family is her father, Munenori (Ono Atsushi), eldest brother and heir Muneyuki (Hamada Kenji), and eldest sister Souka (Takagaki Ayahi). Nudity and breast plot device notwithstanding, the manga actually looks pretty cool on the samurai/ninja action side of things. To enjoy that, one has to really overlook the ridiculous premise though, which goes far beyond Qwaser’s use of breastfeeding. To this adaptation’s credit, it does have director Kaneko Hirako on board, plus a very talented female cast that’s been in the likes of Samurai Girls and Queen’s Blade. If anyone’s going to get an adult-themed anime done right, it would be them. I don’t intend to blog this series, but I am curious to see how far they push the envelope on AT-X.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Manyuu Hikenchou Promotional Videos ▼

Dantalian no Shoka | ダンタリアンの書架 Top
http://dantalian.tv/
Animation: GAINAX Premiere: July 15, 2011
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:23
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Taking over GOSICK’s time slot is a remarkably similar anime, adapted from Asura Cryin’ creator Mikumo Gakuto’s other light novel series, “Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian”. The story begins with Hugh Anthony Disward, a.k.a. Huey (Ono Daisuke), inheriting the estate of his late grandfather, a bibliomaniac who didn’t hesitate to trade half his fortune for a rare book. In a hidden cellar, he comes across mountains of books and a doll-like girl in a black dress with a huge padlock on her chest quietly reading a book. Her name is Dalian (Sawashiro Miyuki), the keeper of the Dantalian Bookshelf, a collection of forbidden magical books. With the key Huey’s grandfather left behind, he can unlock the wealth of knowledge from the 900,666 “phantom books” stored in Dalian, and together they investigate incidents caused by the misuse of such books.

GAINAX’s work is always worth keeping an eye on, so their involvement caught my attention right away. What kept it was the manga version I flipped through, which featured some pretty graphic murders that Huey and Dalian looked into. At the same time, there was no shortage of lighthearted moments where Dalian can be quite demanding. “Like mother like daughter” is the parallel I drew since Miyuki voiced Cordelia in GOSICK, but a more relevant one is Index in To Aru no Majutsu no Index, given the nearly one million magical books that Dalian is a gateway to. Like Index, she uses the knowledge she possesses for incantations. An overarching plot should develop as the two of them solve more cases and come across other bookkeepers like Dalian, so I’m looking forward to watching Dantalian no Shoka as my mystery series of the summer. Dark and mysterious fantasy set in Great Britain? I like the sound of that.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Dantalian no Shoka Promotional Videos ▼


OVA / Movie


 

Technical Note: OVAs are sorted by the date they are released. For series that have multiple episodes coming out over the course of the season, please refer to the Notes column for additional dates. More information on each OVA can be found on their respective websites, including promotional videos in some cases. Movie premiere dates are not included since they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD movie releases are however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface. If you notice anything missing, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail me directly.

Release Date Title Notes
07/20 Saint Seiya THE LOST CANVAS Meion Shinwa 2: Vol.6
聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話 第2章 VOL.6
http://loscan.jp/index.html
07/21 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira: file.01 | ひぐらしのなく頃に煌 file.01
http://www.oyashirosama.com/web/kira/
09/22: file.02.
07/22 Break Blade 6 – Doukoku no Toride | 劇場版 ブレイクブレイド 第六章 慟哭ノ砦
http://breakblade.jp/
BD/DVD movie release. Finale.
07/27 Hellsing VIII | ヘルシングVIII
http://www.geneon-ent.co.jp/rondorobe/anime/hellsing/
08/05 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Okita Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 沖田編
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
08/14 Carnival Phantasm 1st Season | カーニバル・ファンタズム 1st Season
http://www.typemoon.com/products/CPweb/
Characters from various TYPE-MOON works.
08/25 Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Special Chapter | 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ 特別編
http://milky-holmes.com/anime.html
Airing on Tokyo MX, Niconico, etc.
08/26 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Saitou Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 斎藤編
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
08/26 Towa no Quon | トワノクオン
http://www.towanoquon.com/
First BD/DVD release of a six-part movie series.
09/22: Movie 2.
08/26 Vitamin X -Addiction-: Act. 1
http://www.d3p.co.jp/vitamin_x_addiction/
09/22: Act. 2
09/14 Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai OAD | 神のみぞ知るセカイ OAD
http://kaminomi.jp/
Bundled with manga vol. 14.
09/22 Ah My Goddess OAD vol. 43 | ああっ女神さまっ OAD 43巻
http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/megamisama/
Bundled with manga vol. 43.
09/22 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai OAD (7) | 僕は友達が少ない OAD (7)
http://www.mediafactory.co.jp/bunkoj/rinjinbu/
Bundled with manga vol. 7.
09/27 Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi ~Onodera Ritsu no Baai 6~ Premium Anime DVD Limited Edition
世界一初恋~小野寺律の場合6~ プレミアムアニメDVD付き限定版
http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/shop/sp/shop_sp_171.html
09/30 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Harada Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 原田編
http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/rondorobe/anime/hakuoki/
Summer 2011 Kuttsukiboshi: Last Chapter | くっつきぼし 後編
http://www.kuttsukiboshi.com/


Overall Impressions


 

While I only marked down two series as guaranteed blogs — Kami-sama Dolls and Sacred Seven — I’m pretty set on watching a lot more than that. There are actually a bunch of shows I’d like to cover on Thursday and Friday. The only reason I’m not committing to any of them yet is because I want to see an episode first before deciding. I really don’t want to cover more than one series a day if I can avoid it. I also need to run it by the other writers to see what they’re interested in covering, so please check back for any updates on the blogging side of things.

At the moment, this is my blogging shortlist broken down to days (Good or higher odds, underline means guaranteed):

I’m actually hoping to blog the Ouran High School Host Club live-action drama that will start airing on Fridays too, but I’ll have to see if I can make time for that. In any case, see below for the categorized series breakdown.

 

High expectation shows give me reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones I feel you should keep an eye out for. I’m also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable. Note: The lists are in alphabetical order.

Moderate expectation shows don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, from my experience, these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. I like sifting through these since romantic comedies are among them. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fan-service. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases, these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly underappreciated but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes works oriented toward female audiences.

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can actually watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why I treat them differently.

Last but definitely not least are the series that I’m not sure what to make heads or tails of yet. Expectation-wise, they fall somewhere between moderate to high due to that unknown factor and are potential surprise hits of the season. If their premises sound interesting to you, I’d say they’re worth checking out.

280 Comments

    1. I will watch these(might increase/decrease):
      Sacred Seven
      Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
      Yuruyuri
      BLOOD-C
      Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
      Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
      Nekogami Yaoyorozu

      I will also check out those OVAs I know.

      thanks Divine for making my list smaller and easier. school is making me more busy.

      amado
  1. Was wondering when the preview for this site would come out; recently began seeing them on other sites. Thanks, and keep up the good work, rc team! Yours is by far the most informative of the lot, consistently so every season!

    Zen
  2. Finally, it’s here!

    Must watch for me:

    1) Ro-Kyu-Bu!
    2) Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    3) Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
    4) Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!~
    5) Yuruyuri
    6) Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
    7) Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    8) R-15

    KIVs:

    1) Kami-sama Dolls

    2) Mayo Chiki!

    I’m gonna skip this season Sunrise’s anime, as there’s gonna be another one by them in Fall and is epic(IMO). Lastly, main cast are Fukuyama Jun & Chihara Minori. Linky: http://genesis-horizon.net/

    @Divine: Isn’t Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!, a first debut for Kugimiya Rie as a mahou shoujo? if it is, it’s going to be another plus besides Yukarin 🙂 Even if it’s not, it’s still another puls :p

    Omega
      1. I like it. Gundam AGE is oriented towards younger generations who have never seen a Gundam series before (i.e. elementary school kids), but appeals to older Gundam fans like myself because of the retro look. It seems like the only people who vehemently hate it are the ones that got into the franchise with Gundam Wing, SEED, and 00.

      2. This Gundam AGE looks like a “true Gundam” to me. Sure, it’s going to have younger protagonists, but everything else reminds classic Gundam stuff. At least it will be better than Gundam 00, which I consider to be the worst Gundam ever created. LOL.

        André
      3. Wow! Ever since i hear about gundam age, i have been like disappointed about how it will be all kiddie and stuff. But hearing other view of point seem to let me think “hey, it might be interesting show after all” , thanks to everyone

        lkaze
      4. I don’t know why people will be disappointed or hate a particular show that doesn’t even air yet. As for me, my first exposure to Gundam was with Wing in the early 2000s. So far I’ve watch in particular order: Wing – Unicorn – 00 – 00 S2 – MS Igloo 1 – MS Igloo 2 – SEED – SEED Destiny – CE73 – Char counterattack – Trailblazer – 8th MS Team. All in all, I’ve like all the Gundams that I’ve watched.

        Also, I don’t think people who was exposed to the most recent franchise are the only people who expressed that they hate it, in websites like MAL, or that of youtube gunpla reviewers, or gunpla sites, a lot of older fans are hoping that the new series was a UC series and they are disappointed to find out its another time-line. I hope all those initial impressions by other people will be gone as soon as Gundam AGE is released. As for me, I love the Gundam franchise now, both in anime form and as a Gunpla model kit collector, more Gundams shows means more Kits to collect. Also I like how the Gundam AGE would seem different from the older Gundam shows, particularly, I’m seeing how they experimented with the Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer with the non-human opponent, it seems their labor paid off with good results with that experiment and the end product is Gundam AGE.

        As for the people who are disappointed because it’s not a UC show, remember that MS Gundam Unicorn is a 6 episode OVA that will be released till 2012. So even if Gundam AGE ever turned out to be a kiddy show, there is always Gundam Unicorn to cover it.

      5. I forgot to include Gundam Wing Endless Waltz and Gundam SEED Destiny Final Plus above.

        After finishing the 8th MS Team just yesterday, my eyes have turned to other UC titles like MS Igloo 2: Gravity of the Battlefront and ZZ Gundam, and alternate timelines as After War Gundam X. Honestly, I’m excited about Gundam AGE, because, if all goes well as planned for me this may/may not be the first Gundam series I will be watching while its airing (aside from Unicorn, but its an OVA).

      6. AGE did not make a good first impression on me (I’ve seen quite some gundam mind you). The designs put me off, I’m not used to seeing digimon in my giant mecha. BUT UPON CLOSER INSPECTION I have to say my expectations improved quite a bit (read: ALOT).

        I’ll still go into it with a minor gripe about the designs though: I want to be able to fap to fantasize about mai waifusu without feeling like I’m going straight to pedo-rehab.

        MORE relevantly, young target audience = fewer dark elements? = CAPTIVATING War-Drama?
        Though I guess Sunrise is trying to SEED a new future audience.

        The story is OMOSHIROI though. A 100 year war, that goes through 3 generations of soldiers and the GUNDAM improves over time due to an AGE system. Could turn out to be majorly epic by the end.
        inb4 gurren lagann comparisons.

        Hrmmm
    1. Haven’t heard any about Code Geass, not even a pip of it.I myself have been hoping for Toaru kagaku no Railgun 2 to come out. But i guess i need hanasaku no iroha to finish first before any sort of green lit about railgun.

      lkaze
    2. Well I am not sure whether wanting another Code Geass series is any good. I personally love both seasons despite what a number of people say abt the second season. But I really think that they should just leave it there at 2 seasons.

      Flappy
    3. The only anime that’s coming out will be the gaiden, Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito. And aside from this, there’s no info about a date or even a format to the anime(if it’s OVA or a complete series).

      MrRei
      1. Doesn’t even look a bit like lelouch or suzaku?
        Most people want more Code Geass(well i don’t really know for sure, but i am) is because they want to see if lelouch is still alive and what happen afterward.

        lkaze
  3. wow you actually had a look at all of the source materials, kudos to you. Overall I’m rather disappointed, as none of these gives a “must-watch” vibe like Steins;Gate, AnoHana, DW, Hana-saku Iroha of the last seasons with their prestigious studios/directors/source materials. Even the most promising ones of this season make me feel rather skeptical once I have another look at their source materials or staffs or trailers: behind Blood-C is CLAMP who screwed up the endings of xxxHolic and Tsubasa Chronicle, Kamisama Dolls’ trailer shows rather questionable animation quality, Kamisama no Memochou is made by JC Staff who screwed up many light novel/manga adapations they got their hands on, judging from its trailer it looks like Itsuka Tenma will take a fanservice approach rather than a plot-focused approach (and with the overly colorful animation and moe designs, I don’t think the dark atmosphere of the LN can be preserved), Penguindrum is too mysterious, Dantalian’s “boy meets girl” plot has failed far too often to my liking before, etc. But I still have some definite choices, anyway: KamiMemo, KamiDolls, Natsume III, Baka to Test II, Penguindrum, no.6, Dantalian, Usagi Drop, and I might have a look at Nura II and Ikoku Croisee.

    Nyaa
    1. That’s pretty much the key difference that distinguishes this site’s previews. We actually look into the source material and get a first-hand impression on what each series is about.

      It takes a lot longer than simply reading a second-hand synopsis that someone else wrote, looking at a promo picture/video, and basing all your impressions on just that, but our readers appreciate the effort and rely on the information that’s not found on other English sites.

      1. awesome. I also do a seasonal anime preview for my 4rum, but rarely do I read all of the source materials (most of which, recently, are either bad, or moe-based, and not to my tastes). Usually I rely on the staff infos, the sypnosis, experiences and gut feelings to predict how good/bad it will turn out to be. Turned out I got quite a lot right, due to most of the recent anime being anything but original or unpredictable (and I watched enough to guess), but sometimes I do miss the real good one, like DenYuuDen a few seasons ago.

        By the way, why isn’t Last Exile 2 here ? It’s scheduled in July, isn’t it ?

        Nyaa
      2. The problem with that approach is that a lot of series will be misrepresented from your personal tastes, which is a common problem I see in a lot of other previews. Personally, I can’t really take anyone’s opinion of an anime seriously unless they’ve shown they know what they’re talking about. Making sweeping statements or simply saying it doesn’t “look like” something they’ll enjoy just shows to me that they couldn’t even be bothered to find out, which further puts their impressions in question. If you’re going to do a preview that will affect the views of tens of thousands of people, you should do it properly. At least, that’s the mentality I have when I write a preview. *end ramble*

      3. “RandomC: Come for the previews, stay for the blogs!”

        Or at least that’s how it was for my group of friends. We all got introduced to this site through the previews.

        zem
    2. @Rintarou: no, on AniDB and MAL it’s airing date is in July. And I don’t see Last Exile II listed in the current Fall schedule. A possible reason is that while it’s scheduled to premier in the Anime Expo in July, there’s no definite date of it starting, so guess we’re gonna have to wait.

      @Divine: Cool answer, if I ever have to make a seasonal preview on my own I will definitely take that into account (currently there’re three of us, so it’s all balanced in the end). Wouldn’t you be concerned that checking out source materials might spoil the fun, though, especially if the anime and the manga begins differently ? Take Steins;Gate for example, it has two manga running, and one of them spoils very important plot points in the 1st chapter.

      Nyaa
      1. It definitely happens, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make since a lot of people are dependent on my preview.

        In Steins;Gate’s case, I actually spoiled a lot of the ending for myself while researching, but I just accept that will happen from time to time. It doesn’t really ruin my watching experience too much, because I’m missing a lot of the details on how things happen. I’ve gotten used to finding out key plot developments completely out of context and simply view them as teasers of sorts.

  4. divine may i ask are you sure about Sacred Seven having only 12 episodes?

    anyway, my Summer list would be
    Blood-C
    Dantalian no Shoka
    No.6
    Sacred Seven
    Usagi Drop

    along w/
    Steins;Gate (epic)
    Tiger & Bunny

    everything else is entirely not for my taste

    thanks again for this preview Divine!

    Zwei
  5. I’ll give each a try, but the one that’s an automatic remove for me would have to be Manyuu Hikenchou. I like fan-service, but I think I’ve seen a little too much that it’s beginning to annoy me that all they could provide is sex humor. I enjoy it sometimes, but not at the cost of a decent story. Either way this series is an instant drop for me. On a side not, I’ve never been much of a Blood+ fan. However, just by that picture alone, I think I’ll give this one a bit of a try.

    aero
    1. I really enjoyed the original movie, the 50 episode anime series, and the live action movie that came out last year or so (which by the way was a fantastic movie). The fact that CLAMP is involved is icing on the cake.

      I have been a huge fan of CLAMP shows of the past. They will definately up the production value of this new BLOOD-C series.

      Karmafan
  6. yes thank you Divine 😀

    i would also like to note in my opinion that most of the animes coming out
    in the summer looks like crap (but then again thats what i said before Kaiji came
    out and now im loving the hell out of it)

    so ill probably give most of them a shot…
    (also why do they keep coming out with animes that look like all there is to them is big boobed women and showing there panties >.>?)

  7. No.6
    Usagi Drop
    Kami – Sama no Memo – Chou
    Blood-C
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
    Mawaru Penguindrum
    Dentalian no Shoka

    I’m concerned about Blood-C do I need to watch the previous ones?

    Thanks Divine, I chuckled at Manyuu Hikenchou. Its absolutely ridiculous

    IronicTales
      1. That really disappoints me actually… I mean if they did a continuation from Blood+’s ending, which you mentioned you never got to so I wont bother going into details on then they could have approached this from about three different angles (not including the many ways to develop them) that would have been coherent to the story.

        Koroshiya
  8. I love it. This season should be more exciting than the last since last season doesn’t have much of action type (ano hana, hanasaku, denpa) so i’m quite bored from all the drama and moe show. With sacred seven and baka , things are looking up. 🙂
    Most expected anime:
    1) Sacred seven
    2) Baka test shokanju
    3) No. 6
    4) Usagi Drop

    lkaze
  9. @divine I think it would be neat if in the preview you could put both
    the Japanese name of the anime then the English translation of it
    just a thought

    kinda like this i guess :

    “Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! | Idiots, Tests, and Summoning Beasts! | バカとテストと召喚獣にっ!”

    I know its gotta be alot of hard work doing these previews but i just thought that would be cool.

      1. okay understood
        thanks for replying and i guess ill just do what my sister and i always do
        we give nicknames to animes with long or confusing names like

        Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai

        we just called it ghost girl >.<
        anyways thanks

    1. Just based off the premise, it’s a bit more similar to Gosick, where the female protagonist (who’s the detective) solves cases without physically being at the crime scene. Not a whole lot of scifi in it (unless you consider a room full of computers and tons of NEETS to be scifi)

      Soiyeruda
      1. As someone who has read the light novel, kami-sama no memochou is very far from a sci-fi LN. In fact, Gosick is more sci-fi like than kami memo IMO. The thing closest to what can be considered as sci-fi element is just Alice. Mind you, this is just my opinion and you should try it to judge whether this can be categorized as sci-fi according to your categorization.

        aiueo123
  10. Summer List:

    Ro-kyu-bu!
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou (Admittedly concerned because it’s J.C. Staff though I’m watching regardless)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
    Yuruyuri
    Kami-sama Dolls
    Usagi Drop
    No. 6
    Blood-C
    Mayo Chiki!
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    Mawaru Penguindrum
    Manyuu Hikenchou (Just because the premise is so ridiculous)
    Dantalian no Shoka

    Soiyeruda
  11. I guess the question now is who will cover what lol?

    Compared to previous Summer Season Preview, I am not sure about this one. Some great shows I admit.

    Well Thanks for the preview Divine. Look forward to another blog from yourself and the RC team.

    Dragonite88
  12. These are the ones I will check out:

    Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    Sacred Seven
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
    Kami-sama Dolls
    Usagi Drop
    NO.6
    Mayo Chiki!
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! (I will definitely watch this one, of course.)
    Mawaru Penguindrum
    Nekogami Yaoyorozu
    R-15
    Dantalian no Shoka

    Perhaps I will watch Morita-san wa Mukuchi., if only because Hanazawa Kana voices the main character…

    Dantalian no Shoka is definitely the one I’m looking forward to the most.

    HenDarou
  13. Manyuu Hikenchou sounds excellent. Stealing breasts from other women! LOL!

    Nothing much that strongly jumps out for the new season though. At least Steins Gate and Tiger & Bunny is continuing

    Zaku Fan
  14. This is going to be a great season. Three great series that I loved in the past are back with either direct sequels or in Blood-C’s case a remake. Nurarihyon no Mago, Blood-C, and Natsume Yuujin-chou all were really well done series in the past so I will have all 3 on my must watch list along with a few of the new ones as well.

    Karmafan
  15. WOW no one has any love for Natsume Yuujin-chou? I loved the 1st 2 seasons of this show. Tell me I’m not the only one looking forward to a 3rd season of Natsume?

    Karmafan
    1. I love Natsume as well and defended it against naysayers on this site~ How can they not appreciate Nyanko-sensei’s charm *ahem ahem*

      Looks like this season I will mostly be watching continuations. There’s Tiger&Bunny (arc finale this week was awesome!), Steins;Gate and Ao no exorcist still airing and sequels to Baka to Test and Natsume.

      Will also try the noitamina shows, kamisama dolls, dantalian no shoka, blood C and Uta Pri, Sacred 7 and that ridiculous spinning penguin thing…

      Was actually considering Isuka kuro usagi since it has an intriguing cast and story…sadly the female character designs are painfully loli.

      Divine, is there any chance of you picking up Tiger&Bunny midway through its run?

      momogoldfish
  16. My best first priority on series:
    -Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
    -NO.6
    -Kami-sama Dolls
    -Usagi Drop

    im not too exciting about this season anime series, because the ova and movie is more fascinating especially the bloody anime Hellsing Ultimate:
    -Hellsing Ultimate ep VIII (OVA)*
    -Sora no Otoshimono okijikake no Angeoid (MOVIE)*
    -Fullmetal Alcemist:Milos no Seinaru Hoshi (MOVIE)*
    -Towa no Quon (MOVIE)*
    -Kokuriko-Zaka Kara (MOVIE)*
    -Mahou Sensei Negima ANIME FINAL (MOVIE)
    -Hayate no Gotoku! HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH (MOVIE)

    Shageki
  17. Yeay Blood C!! Been a fan of clamp’s series! 😀
    And somehow, it feels like Gosick has inspired some of the promising shows this season!
    Looking forward so much to this

    kgfj
  18. Not as exciting as I thought it be only a few shows that I definitely interested in:

    Must watch:
    Mayo Chiki!
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! |
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    Dantalian no Shoka

    May watch:
    Sacred Seven
    Natsume Yuujin-chou San
    Kami-sama Dolls
    R-15
    Manyuu Hikenchou
    BLOOD-C
    Usagi Drop

    The rest is so so.

    Just a word of advice for those interested in NO.6, I heard the novel is lean toward Yaoi, can’t say for sure since I didn’t bother reading the novel after hint of it in the manga and rumors on readers review.

    andyxx
  19. Wanted to say this in IRC but you weren’t on.

    Divine are you sure that “source” abuot Sacred Seven is right? There has been absolutely no word anywhere about the length of the anime and to my knowledge (which is nothing to scoff at) there has been nothing mentioned about the length of the series in press conferences either. News articles get information wrong all the time, and I seriously doubt this is only 12 episodes since Sunrise is producing, as they rarely do anything less than 2 cour. Actually, they haven’t done anything less than 2 cour in the past 10 years, and before that only like 3 or 4 of their series were 1-cour. I don’t see Sacred Seven being the series that breaks that record, especially since it’s apparently a higher priority project than T&B at Sunrise if the rumors on 2ch are to be believed (and they’re usually somewhat true).

    Also, are you sure Blood-C is only 1-cour? Like Sacred Seven, I’ve heard nothing of the series length, and I follow this stuff very closely. It would make far more sense for it to be 2-cour though given how much talent Production I.G. has put into this by getting CLAMP to do an original story and bringing in a ton of Ghost in the Shell animators on the animation side. Also, the fact it has a movie planned for 2012 makes the prospects of 24-25 episodes more likely. It just doesn’t make sense for them to bring in so much talent and plan a movie if they’re only going to have the series be 12 episodes long.

    Finally, The IDOLM@STER is confirmed to be 2-cour.

    Rintarou
    1. lol, and just one more thing. Myo Chiki is 12 episodes, as all of the MF Bunko x TBS projects are, and will be replaced by ‘Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai’ in the fall.

      Rintarou
    2. It seemed really odd to me at first too — Sunrise producing a series that isn’t two cour — but 2chan posters were confirming the same thing, citing the broadcast schedule of TV Kanagawa (tvk) as a source.

      BLOOD-C is a bit more uncertain, but is for a similar reason dug up by 2chan. The MBS time slot at 25:40 is typically one cour. I’ll see if I can dig up a secondary source to confirm it.

      As for IDOLM@STER, do you have a source that says it’s going to be two cour?

      1. Hmm, TV Kanagawa’s listing was spot on for Spring season, but still, it’s extremely odd that S7 would be 1-cour. Not just because it’s from Sunrise, but also because there have been rumors that the high-ups at Bandai and Sunrise have been putting pressure on the Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and Sacred Seven teams to make both anime a hit after T&B’s success, since it would be embarrassing of their two “big projects” of the year end up doing worse than the project that they thought had no chance of being successful. It doesn’t make much sense for their top priority anime to be only 12 eps in comparison to T&B, which got 25 eps despite no one having any expectations for it at all just because it was being produced by Sunrise. Meh, in any case, S7 is a MBS production, so I’d wait for them over TV Kanagawa anyway.

        As for Blood-C, you’re right that the MBS Thursday 25:25/25:40 timeslot has a lot of 1-cour anime, but it’s not like 2-cour series airing on it are uncommon. Code Geass, DtB, Shana II, Macross F, Basquash, and DRRR!! all aired on that timeslot. And as a side note, all sold really well with the exception of Basquash. The timeslot has just had a coincidental string of 1-cour series recently with Kuroshitsuji II, Togainu no Chi, Madoka, and A-Channel. I think the recent string of 1-cour series has more to do with their studios, or in Kuroshitsuji and A-Channel’s cases, amount of source material, than the timeslot. SHAFT never do 2-cour series, with the exception of Negima!?, and I’ve heard the reason that Togainu was only 1-cour and had horrible production values is because of a production planning nightmare, not because the timeslot it semi-exclusive to 1-cour series.

        To conclude the tl;dr: the original anime that air on Blood-C’s timeslot are usually 2-cour, so I’d say that Blood-C’s chances of being 2-cour are very high.

        Now, there is no scan or news article stating IDOLM@STER is 2-cour, but the director basically confirmed it being 2-cour at a press conference by “hinting” that he looked forward to working on the project “for the rest of the year”. If it were only 1-cour he wouldn’t say that. But I guess that’s not enough to slap the 2-cour label on the post just yet.

        Rintarou
      2. CODE GEASS and Macross Frontier aired in the Sunday 5pm slot for both TBS and MBS if I’m not mistaken, so I don’t think those two apply. Also it seems a bit unreasonable to draw conclusions like that for IDOLM@STER if you’re not willing to accept media reports that Sacred Seven is 12 episodes. Anyway, I’ll keep an eye out on both it and BLOOD-C. There’s too much assumption going on about Sunrise’s expectations to refute the episode totals already reported by Japanese sources.

      3. I’m not refuting TV Kanagawa’s listing, I’m just remaining skeptical of it. What I was refuting though is that news article, since they get information wrong all the time.

        As for Code Geass and Macross F, neither of them aired in the Doroku/Nichigo slot. The producers did originally plan for the first season of Code Geass to air in the Doroku timeslot (the slot that preceded Nichigo before they downgraded it due to Blood+, Ayakashi Ayashi, and Terra e’s failures) but decided to air it in a later slot (which became the Thursday late night slot which is exclusive for MBS productions just like Doroku/Nichigo) because they wanted to be able to do more risque things with the story and have more creative freedom. Now, Code Geass R2 did end up airing in the Nichigo slot, which resulted in Macross F being put in the late night Thursday slot.

        Rintarou
      4. I just double-checked. CODE GEASS s1 and Macross Frontier did air in the 25:25 time slot, so that may suggest IDOLM@STER will be two-cour (some 2chan people are thinking it is anyway), but I’m not so sure that applies to BLOOD-C. In any case, if you come across any other sources of info, please feel free to drop me an e-mail or a message on IRC and I’ll look into it. Thanks.

      5. I hope Blood-C is just a 1-cour series because it was my sweet spot, while 2-cour series is certainly welcome, I’m more comfortable marathoning it as compare to one-cour’s which I am very comfortable waiting and watching in a weekly basis.

        I have yet to finish the Blood+ series putting it on-hold for more that 4 years now at about ep.30/50, I’m hoping to eventually finish that series with Blood-C as the catalyst for that. My other preparation is my plan to watch the Blood The Last Vampire movie. Anyways I’m really intrigued with this Blood-C particularly because of CLAMP’s involvement and Production IG. I like their tag-team in the Tsubasa Chronicle OVAs and that of xxxHolic.

  20. I am totally blind and lost here. I will just watch what you guys think it´s good.

    Nothing secure just tentative:

    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
    Mayo Chiki!
    Kamisama Dolls
    Kamisama no Memochou
    R-15 (need my fan-service and reminds me of Girls Bravo)

    Maybe there will be some surprises, I hope so.

    Lectro Volpi
  21. Looks like it will be an interesting season! Thanks Divine for putting the preview up. I really wonder whether there will be anything this season that will put my top 3 in danger? Since Madoka, Ano Hana and Stiens;Gate has been amazing thus far.

    Will by trying:
    -NO.6 (BONES fans)
    -BLOOD C (looks pretty badass)
    -Kami-sama Dolls (has an interesting concept
    -Dantalian no Shoka (really wants to know what GINAX has in store…)

    Flappy
  22. Natsume Yuujin-chou? It’s been two years since the last season. That’s a anime that I really wanted to see a sequel and, hey, it’s now coming. AWESOME!

    I’m also interested in some of these other shows, especially Usagi Drop. Looks like a josei version of Aishiteruze Baby.

    Now they just have to make a sequel to Toradora.

    André
    1. I hear this is only going to cover Part I, thankfully. Part II was…well, I’d rather not state my opinion on it as to inadvertently imply what happens. I’ll just say Part II may not be everyone’s cup of tea and leave it at that.

      Bakazuki
  23. I will watch without a doubt:
    -Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    -Dantalian no Shoka
    -Blood C
    -Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
    -Kami-sama Dolls
    -Kami-sama no Memo-chou

    In my opinion this are the stars of the season, meaning the ones with more potential to left a mark on the viewers. I still have my reservations regarding Blood C, but having CLAMP ivolve is a really good sign.

    Taking the conversation in a completely different note, I was wondering Divine if you would blog Shakugan no Shana III Final, which has been confirmed for airing in October. I was just wondering, since I love your analysis and comments of every series you blog. I´d apreciate if you could answer this doubt and thank you for keeping this wonderful site alive and better than ever.

    haseo0408
      1. You are right man, I just want to confirmed with Divine I like how the guy thinks. Speaking of Shana, I´m praying every night since the anouncement of hte final season so J.C. Staff don´t screw it up, they have done a great job whit To Aru Majutsu no Index and Zero no Tsukaima but they always tend to change or cut some parts of the original work. The last light novel of Shana which close this fantastic fantasy love story is about to come out, so I hope they can stick with the same ending of the author or at the very least a decent well elaborated happy ending

        Am I the only one that wants to see Shana and Yuji to Kiss already? It is so obvious they love each other if you see all the hints in both seasons of how Yuji cherish Shana to death!. I mean you don´t go throught out of all apocaliptic that has has happend if you do´t love the girl more that could you love nayone else in the universe.

        haseo0408
      2. Agreed, Shana is probably my favorite anime of all time and is quite popular too. Considering that this one character essentially launched the career of Kugimiya Rie to the big time and swept in the new era of tsundere awesomeness, it’s impact on modern anime alone makes it an important show. I cannot wait for season 3!

        (Though, to be completely honest, I have held back on finishing season 2 until I follow through on a massive promise I made to myself a long time ago. Until that goal is accomplished, no Shana for me. Good thing my emotional quotient is through the roof!)

        longtimefirsttime
      3. Yes it’s true! I haven’t finished season 2 yet! I think I stopped at the episode where Blaze becomes the new opening.

        As for my promise, I swore to myself not to finish Shana until I get into medical school, so I am working hard to accomplish that right now.

        longtimefirsttime
    1. I haven’t really thought about Shana, but it’s definitely a series that I wouldn’t let slip by on RandomC. I can’t say for sure whether I’ll be the one covering it though. Did you want to hear my impressions specifically?

      1. Well it wouldn’t necessarily have to be you Divine, but I think it would be nice. Or Takaii since he’s also a big fan like many of us!

        You two are my favorite writers, so either way works for me. Also, I’d like it if the coverage didn’t include constant comparisons to the light novel since we all know it has deviated. I believe that adaptations should be judged on their own merits and not on the source material since it seems unfair to expect audiences to be familiar with all forms of a franchise.

        That was probably my only problem with the Index shows. I thought both seasons of Index were great, but I also felt that they could have been much better if they didn’t rely so much on the expectation that audiences could fill in the gaps in the plot and character development through the light novels. That’s why I don’t really mind how J.C. Staff has taken the Shana anime in a slightly different direction, because they have made it very coherent and standalone.

        longtimefirsttime
      2. Yes, I really want to read the impressions you have regarding Shana since you you always have a good analysis of the series you cover, I respect your opinion a lot. If you can´t cover it, I´ll be disapointed at least for me, but it´ll still be great if someone in the site cover it. Thank you for answer my question.

        haseo0408
      3. Divine, I’d like to know if you’re interested in blogging Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukanai too, since I’m 100% positive it’s something you’d enjoy(it’s an AIC-produced romcom, most of which you seem to really like).

        elijah
  24. Yay! Glad to see you’re easing back into blogging Divine, but be sure not to push yourself too much. 🙂

    Otherwise, the series I’m interested in watching would be:
    Datalian no Shoka
    DEFINITE
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    Kami-sama Dolls
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    Mawaru Penguindrum
    Mayo Chiki!
    Nekogami Yaoyorozu
    NO.6
    THE IDOLM@STER
    Usagi Drop
    Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
    Yuruyuri

    I love Usagi Drops so that might be the highlight of the season for me, or it could end up like Deadman Wonderland (which didn’t turn out as good as it could have been). I’ve got high hopes for Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation, Kami-sama Dolls, Mawaru Penguindrum, and NO.6.
    The ones I’m cautiously excited to see how they turn out though would be Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi and Kami-sama no Memo-chou.

    Overall, seems like Summer might not be that bad. Nothing too heavy, but it’s a time for relaxing anyhow.

    Aisu
  25. Amazing! There’s always something new with each preview. Whether it be the material that gets more beefed up, or the layout and formats, it’s simply amazing when you see it. Thanks for your hard work Divine! I can guarantee a good three or four+ hours of referencing the preview while adding them to my MAL.* The Previews and Commercials for the shows have been popping up on Nyaa but it didn’t feel right (or convenient) to download and watch them! 😀

    I was gunning for another season of Ika Musume but looks like the wait is longer. Seitokai Yakuindomo too. 🙁 Usagi Drop seems to be everyone’s go-to for the season. Loli-fest seems to be the theme this time around ahaha >:}

    *Not including the trailers!

  26. I forgot about the second season of Baka Test! That´s one of my favorite comedys ever. You just to lay down on your couch and turn your brain and enjoy the stupidiest characters ever concived.

    haseo0408
  27. Will be watching:

    1) No 6
    2) Natsume Yuujin-chou
    3) Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou

    and maybe Blood-C.

    Thanks Divine for the new 2011 Summer Anime information. 🙂

    Claire Phoenix
  28. Some looks good, some looks bad, some look downright strange, and there’s Dantalian no Shoka, WHICH I’VE BEEN WAITING FOREVER FOR.

    Anyways, I don’t really have a list. I’m just gonna watch everything until I feel that it’s time to bail =P

    But anyways, Blood-C, Usagi Drop, and Kami-sama no Memo-chou look really interesting as well.

    Click
  29. I’ll still watch all of this anyway but reading this post gives me a good remarks not to drop the series very early. Although I already dropped Nura and blade.

    Mawaru might be the dark horse this season.

  30. r15, mayo chiki, sacred seven looks interesting to watch for me. baka test ni mayb worth to watch after it finishes. Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation its a great show to learn from.

    idolmaster looks kinda interesting to watch. thnx again for the preview hoping more things to come in the future cus luv the site since 06 i guess been a fan of d site since 4eva wheres the facebook or twitter page

    mother_is_good
  31. Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi looks the best out of all of them. The 8 chapter of the manga released so far present an interesting story though the anime will probably have much more fanservice.

    chounouryokusha
  32. The artwork for Ro-Kyu-Bu is disturbing. Pedo-much, Japan? Elementary school kids with large boobs and spandex shorts? Whatever turns you on.

    Watching:

    * Kami-sama Dolls
    * No.6
    * BLOOD-C
    * Sacred Seven

    Maybe watching:

    * Dantalian no Shoka

    Everything else looks meh.

    Summer will be more promising than Spring, but the last half of Steins;Gate will still beat out all Summer shows.

    Zero
    1. Though they’re stated as Elementary students, they’re in 6th grade (if I’m not mistaken), so they’d be about 11-13. The average age for puberty is about 10 years old, and only one of them has a noticeably large bust. It isn’t something exactly unheard of, (I actually knew someone in 5th grade who had at least a C cup) it’s just rarer to hit puberty earlier.

      Also, just in terms of Japanese fetishes, I think flat chested lolis are more popular than busty lolis.

      Soiyeruda
  33. Interesting season lineup, though I must say I am rather disappointed to see Morita-san ha Mukuchi under low expectations. I watched the OVA a while ago and have not laughed that hard in a long time. It’s like a slice of life but with way more humor packed in and it doesn’t resort to cheap laughs or fan service either. Hanazawa Kana is perfect in the role and she has quickly become one of my favorites. I truly hope someone will blog this hidden gem of a show.

    longtimefirsttime
      1. Friday 25:00 would be Saturday 01:00, but the TV companies write it as Friday 25:00 because people don’t wake up early on Saturday to watch whatever show it is. They stay up Friday night to watch it.

      2. Arc is one cheeky commenter.

        Be that as it may, he does have a valid point. AT-X is getting an early broadcast premiere of the 60-min first episode, but takes a week off before airing episode two.

        Tokyo MX is airing at 25:30 though. Only episode one is airing at 25:00 because of its one-hour length.

      1. Divine, isn’t the info on Usagi Drop’s timeskip technically a spoiler due to how it occurs pretty late into the manga? Anyway, the only shows I’ll definitely be following throughout are Usagi Drop and Baka Test 2. Gonna try at least an episode of everything though…except maybe Manyuu Hikenchou and R-15/:

        Smuglord
      2. @Smuglord:

        I didn’t provide any details other than the time period, so I wouldn’t consider it a spoiler. I just wanted to point out that the story covers both Rin’s childhood and teenage years. It also happens at the midway point (volume-wise) and not the very end.

  34. I know I’ll try and check out:
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou (hoping J.C. Staff doesn’t F this up)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (Looks adorable even if I wish Yuuki Aoi was the lead)
    Kami-sama Dolls (The cinematography looks very… Hollywood on this one to me. Excited to see the cool older style character designs and good animation)
    Morita-san wa Mukuchi. (The concept is very funny to me for some reason, so I hope it delivers)
    Dantalian no Shoka (just looks effing awesome, especially after enjoying GOSICK)

    Ordinarily, I’d be all over Usagi Drop, but I lost taste for the series after the direction it went in in part two of the manga. Unfortunate really, because I loved the first half and was so turned off by the second that I couldn’t finish it.

    I might pick up Blood C and NO.6 depending on what I hear about them.

    I’m excited for a slightly more low key season. Last season was pretty hectic and I’ve fallen behind with other hobbies because of it. Let’s hope for a good summer!

    And welcome back Divine!

    innerchihiro
  35. *looking at summer selection*……. BAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! theres a reason they call it “SUMMER” folks! its not built for watching anime. too many CAT EARS and HIGH SCHOOL show’s, why is it always high school anyway???? AND WHERE DA FU@K IS THE LATEST HELLSING MOVIE!?!?!?!?!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  36. I had a feeling this would be out today.

    Thanks for your hard work as always, these Season Previews are wonderful–I came into this only knowing one thing I wanted to watch (BakaTest 2), and now I’m planning to watch

    Kamisama Dolls
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
    Sacred Seven
    No. 6
    Blood-C
    Usagi Drop
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro-Usagi
    Mawaru PenguinDrum
    Dantalian no Shoka

    and am cautiously optimistic about 7 others. Thanks again!

    EB
  37. my takeout dish:
    C Plus – CLAMP does vampires – nuff said!
    Kamisama nm memo-chou – actually i started reading manga before, and liked it.
    Dantalian no shoka – I love both books and dark fantasy!
    Kamisama dolls – murders galore! feels like Hinamizawa!
    possible dessert: Mawaru Penguindrum – only because after Madoka I wont ever scratch show before its tested by general public…

    ewok40k
  38. Animes i’ll be checking first.

    Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
    Kami-sama Dolls
    Morita-san wa Mukuchi.
    Usagi Drop
    NO.6
    THE IDOLM@STER
    BLOOD-C
    Dantalian no Shoka
    Mayo Chiki!

    MrTerrorist
  39. Ah so you’re going to do Baka to Test Divine. Happy that you are my friend because I was really disappointed you didn’t blog last seasons. I wanted to see how well you’d describe every episode, this time we get to see it so I can’t wait. Though the line up seems very…boring compared to springs lol. It’s like they put all their best animes in the spring and then dumped the last ones in the Summer. No offense, I’m just saying haha

    Jason Isenberg
  40. Watching Hands Down:

    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
    Mayo Chiki!
    R-15
    Yuru Yuri
    Nekogami Yaoyorozu

    It has my intrests:

    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
    Kamisama no Memochou
    Morita-san wa Mukuchi

    Depends on the first few episodes:

    Ro-Kyu-Bu!
    Manyuu Hikenchou

  41. whats a 2-cour anime?? how many epiodes is that??
    Anyway, I’m most looking forward to Nurarihyon season 2, season 1 might have been a bit dull but I read the manga and I know the part after where season 1 left off is REALLY GOOD, plot wise, character wise, everything. Its not some plain action with unbelievable power-ups, its story gets really interesting. And season 2 has a new director so hopefully he’ll do a better job.
    So if anyone is in two minds about whether to watch this one, I say go for it, at least give it a try.
    That aside, there’s so much to watch :O

  42. Thanks a lot again for this great overview Divine – I’m always looking forward to it. It helps a lot to pick news shows to look at. Surprisingly a lot potential candidates this summer… 🙂

    Pega
  43. I’ve already had my eyes on at least 10 series this coming Summer Season based on the anime catalogs released by other websites. But this Summer preview by randomc.net is by far my major reference for the last 7 seasons, currently the best source material for this matter. I salute Divine and the other bloggers for doing this amazing project.

    As for the Summer Season Anime that captures my interest, here’s the list:

    – Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    – Natsume Yuujin-chou San
    – Yuruyuri
    – Kami-sama Dolls Guaranteed
    – Morita-san wa Mukuchi
    – Usagi Drop
    – NO.6
    – THE IDOLM@STER
    – BLOOD-C Guaranteed
    – Mayo Chiki!
    – Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! Guaranteed
    – Dantalian no Shoka

    The above animes are based on my initial impressions by description and promotional art. So anything is still possible. I would love try as much anime as possible before deciding what series to watch immediately as they are released and what series could wait a little bit longer till they are completed. So far, the Summer Season as always looks promising.

  44. Hey, isn’t no.6 a gay anime? I read a few chapters last time. It gave me the gay vibes with how the 2 guys were so close to each other so I stop. Or am I being very wrong here?

    gcsasuke
  45. Definitely watch :
    1. Usagi Drop (Hell Yeah!!! Been waiting for this)
    2. Dantalion no shokan
    3. Blood-C
    4. Ikoku Meiro
    5. Natsume Yuujinchou-san
    6. Baka to Test to Syoukanjuu

    Hope they all got covered here.

    briex
    1. Good, been waiting for you. I have heard good remark on usagi drop, voted for usagi drop and even see people stating how they like to see usagi drop. Can you enlighten me something about usagi drop, cause the summary i get from it seem a bit bland (some guy raising some kid). Tell me the best bit of usagi drop, please.
      P.s. i voted for usagi drop, is cause been hearing bit and stuff from forums i visited.

      lkaze
  46. Def watching

    1.Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    2.Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
    3.Usagi Drop
    4.NO.6 (assuming its not gay as has been mentioned)
    5.Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni
    6.Dantalian no Shoka (atleast one episode

    WingZeroZXT
  47. Sacred Seven immediately grabbed my attention – looks like something that will be a blast to watch. I can usually guess what will interest me by the look of the posters, that alone really got my attention.

    Sol Fury
  48. Going to watch Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mawaru Penguindrum, Manyuu Hikenchou and r-15(most likely wait for uncensored)
    Good to hear about a God Only Knows OVA
    I’m going to check out Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! but rather wait until I check out the first season’s dub and I’m going to wait until BLOOD-C gets a dub.

    jingoi
    1. I am fairly sure all confirmations point to this Fall as a release date. Summer tends to be for lower budget shows while Spring and Fall are the seasons for the popular, big budget productions that everyone watches. Especially for big 2 cour shows like Shana, I am also certain it’s going to be this Fall.

      longtimefirsttime
  49. For your OVA/movie list, the first volume of Towa no Quon (a six part OVA/movie series from Bones, original story) comes out August 26th, about 20 minutes of the OVA are already floating around the internet if you want to take a look at it.

    And, with everyone else listing what they plan to watch, I’m watching Bunny Drop, No.6, Natsume, and Penguindrum for sure this season and going to try out Dantalian, the Neet mystery, Iroku, Baka & Test and Blood C. Between that and my three continuing shows (Blue Exorcist, Tiger and Bunny) and Steins;Gate I think I’ll have plenty to watch this summer.

  50. of those summmer anime batch just only manyuu worth be hidden good to watch.

    give cast, story idea, power of doobi, etc.

    who knows another hidden good.

    overall i’m all in manyuu as for rest still hmm as for manyuu or riot!!!

    super_KLAC
  51. uhhh another empty season of summer with thousnds of generic shows of genericness.

    Will watch:
    Blood – while I doubt it will be as awesome as Blood+ was and sad that we won’t be getting the continution of blood+, I still have hopes for this, because, well, CLAMP. Not liking new Saaya tho..

    Blade – hopefully it will be better than X-men was and won’t contain any superpowered mary sues…

    Otherwise: Meh.

    UnknownVoice
    1. They pretty much maxed out realism last year. I think it will take a few years for a season to be as good as fall 2010.

      Kasan Moor of the Elite 128th Imperial TIE Interceptor Squadron
  52. Pretty excited for this season. After spring’s enormous line-up (much of which I was interested in) it’s refreshing to know that I’ll only be picking up a few this season.
    Not really looking forwards to any of the school life, but I’ll certainly give them a try, though I’m still hoping to keep my list small this season.
    Definitely looking forward to Usagi Drop though.

    teisey
  53. Of course I had to read the whole preview before commenting, so here goes.

    First off, glad you’re back, Divine. Hope you had a good season off.

    As for shows I’ll most likely be watching, I have to do like you and watch an episode or two before deciding, but there are a couple of guarantees.

    Usagi Drop – highly likely to watch. I like the premise.
    Blood C – Guaranteed since I simply like the Blood franchise.
    Baka to Test – Guaranteed. After all, it was one of my favorites of 2010.
    Ro-Kyu-Bu – I’ll at least check it out since I’m intrigued by the cast.
    Sacred Seven – I’ll at least check out since it sounds promising.
    No.6 – I’m definitely gonna pick up since noitaminA has delivered with good shows recently.
    Mayo Chiki – Just the premise alone had me chuckling. I’m at least gonna check it out.
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi – Sounds promising… will judge later.
    Dantalian no Shoka – The parallels between this and a few other shows is there, but I’ll give it a shot at least.

    Anyway, let’s see what goes on this season, huh?

  54. I’ll be watching

    Double J (not listed in this preview… it’s by the Cromartie High School mangaka)
    Morita-san wa mukuchi
    Kami-sama no memo-chou (jc staff, must at least watch first ep)
    Mawaru penguindrum
    Ikaku meiro no croisee

    I might drop any one of them. I’m picky.

    Hollywood
  55. After having the great line up of this season, the summer season seems a bit…Underwhelming? Seriously, there’s probably only three series that look genuinely interesting, and one, of them,Mawaru Penguindrum, is only piquing my interest due to its rather bizarrely bi-polar PV’s. This closing season has really spoiled me with the slice of life genre with such gems as Hanasaku Iroha and AnoHana so I’ll be checking out Ikoku Meiro no Croisée for a sweet piece of life, and Sacred Seven gives off a Star-Driverish (It was definitely more style over substance, but hey! I loved it) vibe except seeing that Sunrise is making it it will probably have a much more cohesive more plot. Lastly, Ro-Kyu-Bo needs to be mentioned for having the most generic, cookie cutter, copy and paste from a a how to draw manga book looking moe characters ever! My girls in these moe series need to at least look marginally interesting if I’m going to waste a good twenty minutes on a silly plot, with silly characters doing silly things.

    Censored 1
    1. What are you talking about, this season is mostly garbage, barely any good show and non covered here anyways. Atleast the summer season got a few promising ones, but its still below average.

      babawaba
  56. Eh, the writer for Sacred Seven, isn’t he the same person who has being writing Yu-Gi-Oh for the last 7-11 years or so…..?
    Or at least, the style seems extremely similar….

    Aerione
  57. So I’ve been stalking this site for quite some time now. I figure it’s time to come in and say THANKS for all you do!
    ^_^ I can’t wait till the summer line up starts. ^.^!!

    Hotaru
  58. I heard Ro-Kyu-Bu is Slamdunk, harem-fied and loli-fied, will anyone clarify? As I read the previews I seem to see a good season ahead. If Divine would need another Blogger, I’m here: I’m thinking of watching every one of it….for the first month, and drop those that doesn’t live up my expectations. Also Fall’s 2011 is already forming with Persona 4 riding the waves.

    Best year yet for anime: 2011….
    Why: It’s finally “quality” over “quantity”….

    The Moondogg
    1. Slamdunk (manga) Plot: Delinquent joins a basketball team to win the heart of the one girl who didn’t reject him.

      Ro kyu bu Plot: High School student becomes the coach of an elementary school’s girl’s basketball team as a request by his aunt after the his basketball team is disbanded due to the coach being suspected of being a lolicon.

      Only similarities seems to be that they’re basketball related. Otherwise, Ro-kyu-bu doesn’t look like a harem and though it does have lolis, they’re more there for moe and not for fanservice, at least based off what I skimmed through in the first few chapters of the manga. Oddly enough, the series sounds more like a drama series and the the chapters I read reinforce this, though the series is labeled as a sports comedy.

      It looks like the sport will actually be somewhat significant in the plot (unlike Softenni), so personally, I’ll enjoy my moe lolis playing basketball. :S

      Soiyeruda
    1. To be quite honest, it didn’t feel like enough of a break and I was hoping to extend it for another three months. However, over the course of the season, I realized I can’t laze away for much longer and need to take an active role on the site again.

      1. heh.. the readers miss you! besides, i think you want to write about sacred seven. when you see metal armor or mecha you tend to write about them.. especially if it’s sunrise.

        remember, you can always take a break when it gets out of hand. just don’t make it a permanent one.. yet. 😀

        MrRei
  59. I’m really interested in Manyuu Hikenchou, since one of my favorite seiyuus Noto Mamiko is playing a ninja. However I couldn’t stand watching Seikon no Qwaser I’m wondering if I could stomach this show…

    Azuma
  60. Garantees:
    Yuru Yuir
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
    R-15
    and iDOLMASTER

    Maybe:
    Ro-Kyu-Bu!
    Mayo Chiki!
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi

    YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOU NEVER FINISHED iDOLMASTER Xenoglossia?!!?!?!? WHAT THE HELL DUDE!!!! YOU NEED TO GO BACK AND FINISH IT!!!! IT GETS SO EPIC AFTER EPISODE 16!!!!!!

    Mad_Dog
  61. Must watch for me:
    Mawaru Penguindrum (So mysterious, Ikuhara is a legend!!!!)
    The iDOLM@STER (I love the games.)
    Blood-C (Will most likely be better than the original movie.)
    Sacred Seven (Might be mecha musuko fun.)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation (Looks heartwarming and endearing.)

    May watch:
    Dantalian no Shoka
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    Kamisama Dolls

    People are really sleeping on The iDOLM@STER… The production staff for it is very notable. Atsushi Nishigori has done some awesome animation for various anime, such as Panty & Stocking, Gurren Lagann, and the Rebuild Evangelion films. So I’m looking forward into what direction he’ll take the material in. Hopefully its interesting while being fun.

    KrazyKobun
    1. Maybe in the west, but over in Japan it’s one of the most anticipated anime of the summer. Given the popularity of the source material and strength of the production values, many are predicting this to be more popular than K-ON (IIRC the director himself said they’re aiming for K-ON). I personally can’t wait to hear all my favorite seiyuu together in one anime. And A-1 Pictures is bringing in some top talent for the animation, so it’s sure to look good.

      Rintarou
      1. Yup. I think they don’t want to slack off with the material as they know the fanbase for THE iDOLM@STER is crazy and will not accept another mediocre adaptation. I’m just hoping it won’t be too shallow. I want to see all of the girls well characterized in their respective story arcs. I have a tiny feeling that it won’t just be straight up “moe, moe” even if it looks to be so.

        Food for thought: Kazuya Tsurumaki; the director of FLCL, will storyboard the 4th episode. Yeah… This is gonna be a very pretty anime.

        KrazyKobun
  62. Nothing much to look forward to this summer besides Kamisama Dolls or Sacred Seven which are decent in my opinion hope S7 doesn’t turn out into that Star Driver junk.
    I do look forward to th Carnival Phantasm OVA and Higurashi OVA and the fall season.

    Charly Chang
  63. Definite watches in order of interest:

    Mawaru PenguinDrum: Ikuhara’s original anime that we have almost no info on? Must see anime of the season.

    Blood-C: CLAMP doing an original story and Production I.G. bringing out some of their best animators shows a lot of promise.

    Sacred Seven: Obligatory original Sunrise anime.

    The IDOLM@STER: A-1 Pictures bringing out top guns to animate our favorite seiyuu all clustered in one anime? Fuck yes.

    Natsume Yuujinchou San: Loved the first two seasons, and I heard the arc this season is covering is one of the best yet.

    Kamisama Dolls: Looks like a good thriller, although Brain’s Base didn’t put their best animators behind this since they’re occupied with Natsume and PenguinDrum.

    No. 6: The animation looks great, as expected of BONES.

    Dantalian no Shoka: Don’t have much expectation for this since the team is inexperienced, but hopefully it will surprise me.

    Kami-sama no Memochou: It could be interesting if done right…but J.C.Staff haven’t been too hot lately.

    Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou: With a new director and writer, hopefully they stick closer to the manga and do the upcoming arc justice.

    Mayo Chiki: feel is pretty good at making interesting ero anime with good visuals.

    Rintarou
  64. This season looks kinda like crap to me. A second season of Baka no Suck just rounds out the bottom of the barrel. Compared to the last two seasons, these next two are full of garbage.

    Guardian
    1. Looks like your alone in that one Guardy. I mean, everyone likes CG backgrounds, 2D characters and sprites, technicolor battles and idiotic comedy up to eleven. =)

      The Moondogg
  65. there are a lot of good shows this coming season. And I don’t have the right to watch any of ’em since my spring anime’s– i haven’t seen their latest/last episodes. T___T

    On my list though:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    hOmeRunDaisuki
    1. Hard to think that IdolM@ster will be the new K-On because it was a videogame that existed on parallel with K-On. It’s idol’s work instead of school setting. And while K-On has time for tea, expect the girls in IdolM@ster to work their butts off with all the concerts, guest appearances, etc.

      The Moondogg
      1. i’m quite aware of that.but i was tellin’ about how a mere musical show with bunch of girls will make a boom just like k-on. lookin’ at how much hype it has been getting, i do believe it’s gonna cause a wave!! XD

        anyway, chihaya and azusa are just so cuuuuute!! <<33

        hOmeRunDaisuki
  66. So looking forward to Sacred Seven, since main voice, Aruma by Terashima Takuma who had voiced Apollo of Sousei no Aquarion and Ruri voiced by one of our known Macross utahime, Nakajima Megumi. It’ll be interesting to see how this show goes.

    On the other hand, Gundam Age just pretty much reminded of everybody of Victory Gundam, GG Gundam & Gundam Wing.

    Ageha
  67. None of you have noticed that most of this season has plot and character driven storylines. because that what we western anime fans want right? more stories that we allow us to care about the characters and their situations surrounding the plot. Also Blood-c reminds me of X/1999 but with a girl as the protaginist and a meganekko to boot. More glasses love!!! what happened to shoes like alice academy, child’s toy, and cardcaptor sakura that despite the magic part of the story still dealt with the hardships of elementary school kids growing up instead of creepy loli stuff.

  68. very comprehensive and concise work again, thanks!

    you never finished blood + ? wow I never thought that I actually know a show that you never finished lol! well I still think it was good, there was a nice twist in the middle, then it kinda slows down 3/4 through, just to pick up in the last 3-4 episodes and the ending was good too. I think you’d enjoy it if you have time to watch it.

    jsmith1a2000
    1. I think Manglobe doesn’t want to do it yet since it’s not that popular in Japan. I’ve heard rumors that they’re going to sit on it for a year or so. Sad cause I don’t read the manga of any anime LOL. 🙁

      Kevin
  69. AH. There’s too many anime I want to watch plus the four continuing ones from last season (Hanasaku Iroha, Steins;Gate, Ao no Exorcist, Nichijou). I think I’m going to drop AnE and Nichijou. 🙁

    Guaranteed:
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou (premise is interesting, character reminiscent of GoSick, btw why does JC Staff have a bad rep?)
    Sacred Seven (since it’s so hyped)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation (ah, a calmer story)
    Kami-sama Dolls (since Divine’s has guaranteed to blog it, it must be interesting)
    Usagi Drop (I’m a sucker for dramas)
    No. 6 (sci-fi yes)
    Mayo Chiki! (reminiscent of MM!, which I loved)
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! (who doesn’t want to watch season 2 of our bakas?)
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi (fantasy.)
    Mawaru Penguindrum (they were so clever when they didn’t release info about it)
    Dantalian no Shoka (reminiscent of GoSick, and the premise is even more intriguing)

    If I Have Extra Time (most likely not):
    Yuruyuri (the Mitsudomoe director/screenwriter involvement interests me)
    THE IDOLM@STER (I can watch a lot of this stuff)
    R-15 (same reason as IDOLM@STER)

    Waiting for Persona 4 and Working! next season. 🙁

    Kevin
    1. Regarding your question about JC Staff having bad reputation. I think it will help you best to read the episode impressions of Kiiragi in the series Yumekui Merry pls. note the finale episode and read the comments of the viewers on it.

    1. How can you say the Summer season is boring when its just about to start? I think you should try a couple of series first, then if you really think its still a boring season after that then you can say it with a lot proof on you. For now, your declaration doesn’t hold any water yet.

      1. Because aside from Blood C and Dantelion (which I don’t have high expectations of) none of the descriptions above piqued my interest.

        Still, thank you Divine for the preview. Makes me know not just what to avoid but why. Don’t burn-out yourself

        Tiresias
  70. Blood C is already out on the site I watch animesaeson.com I was not that impressed by the first episode the parts that intrigued me were short lived but I watch atleast the next on to make an informed decision.

    KiyoneSaya
  71. Your season previews really save me every time, because I often have trouble making sense of all the new shows that are coming out. Thank you.

    And Usagi Drop is a “niche” show? I don’t really understand how, it looks like it has potential to be a pretty heartwarming drama.

  72. WOW Ikoku Meiro was amazing. If its any indication of the quality of this summer season then we are in for a great summer of anime. No blood or gore, and no fan service so all the kiddies won’t be interested but its certainly top shelf anime.

    Karmafan

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